Jersey care homes: UK police and social workers should investigate

A UK social work and police investigation team should be set up to assist with the Jersey child abuse inquiry, an expert has said.

Liz Davies, senior social work lecturer at London Metropolitan University, said UK councils needed to identify children who may have been placed in Jersey homes, including the former site of Haut de la Garenne.

The social worker who blew the whistle on the Islington child abuse scandal in the 1990s, also called for a redress board to be set up to hear care leaver’s accounts and for a review of monitoring of known sex abuse perpetrators in Jersey.

Davies, who went to Jersey to meet care leavers earlier this month, said: “It is entirely possible that some of the UK children [placed in Jersey homes] will have gone missing. A detailed search must be conducted with urgency for all children who might have suffered abuse and authorities must then trace the whereabouts of these children in their adulthood.”

“There will be abusers who may not be brought to justice but who at the very least must never work with children again, and there must be risk strategies to protect children,” Davies said.

Lost opportunity
She also criticised a recent report into Jersey’s children’s services by UK expert Andrew Williamson, calling it a “lost opportunity.”

Davies called for a wider inquiry including analysis of serious case reviews and child protection referrals to see how abuse was previously dealt with on the island.

Legal action
Davies’ comments came as Jersey senator Stuart Syvret and John Hemming MP filed a legal action against justice minister Jack Straw for failing to intervene in the abuse case.

According to media reports, the action contained a memo by senior police detective Lenny Harper that claimed victims had no faith in the system. Harper retired as head of the abuse investigation this month.


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Jersey review recommends external scrutiny for children’s services

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