Government rejects MPs’ claims of false accusations of abuse

The government has rejected a claim by the home affairs select
committee that large numbers of care workers employed in
children’s homes have been falsely accused of abusing
children, writes Sally Gillen.

In its response to a report published by the committee last
November, based on an investigation into historic abuse in homes
carried out last summer, the government said it “does not
share the belief in the existence of large numbers of miscarriages
of justice”.

It added that the committee, which is chaired by Chris Mullin
MP, has reached its conclusions via a number of assumptions,
including that significant numbers of complainants have fabricated
claims for dishonest motives.

Other assumptions the committee is accused of making are that
large numbers of complainants are either serving prisoners or
ex-offenders, and that fabrications go undetected throughout
lengthy inquiries.

Despite the committee itself recording reservations about some
of the assumptions, “we are concerned that they have
nonetheless relied upon them significantly, without the weight of
significant and consistent substantiation to back them up,”
the home office response said.

It argued that the committee has given
“disproportionate” weight to the views of those who
claim to have been victims of miscarriages of justice.

However, it backed the committee’s recommendations that
police trawling for witnesses should not be prohibited, but that
that revised guidance should be issued by the Association of Chief
Police Officers that tightens the procedure.

But it has reservations about the recommended introduction of
recording interviews with witnesses or complainants on video or
audio tape, although it noted “there would be a clear benefit
in ensuring that a documented and accurate record is

To read the government’s response in full
click here

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