Home secretary announces wide-ranging inquiry into child sex abuse

Home secretary Theresa May has announced a full scale inquiry into public bodies' handling of child sex abuse allegations

Theresa May
Theresa May (Credit: Rex Features)

A wide-reaching inquiry into institutional child sex abuse is being launched, home secretary Theresa May announced in a statement to Parliament yesterday.

The panel inquiry into historic claims of child sex abuse will investigate public bodies including Westminster, the BBC, children’s homes and schools.

The inquiry launches in the wake of mounting public concern that “a variety of public bodies and other important institutions have failed to take seriously their duty of care towards children,” the home secretary said.

High profile cases such as the Jimmy Savile revelations and the exposure of abuse in Rochdale children’s homes have led to concerns that reported incidences of child abuse were mishandled.

“Some of these cases …have shown that the organisations responsible for protecting children from abuse – including the police, social services and schools – have failed to work together properly,” May said.

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) backed calls for an inquiry, emailing their membership in June to urge them to support a campaign for an inquiry by contacting their local MP.

BASW professional officer Nushra Mansuri said: “It is deeply worrying that critical information related to allegations of child sexual abuse concerning prominent people has either been destroyed or gone missing.”

“This is totally unacceptable and a great injustice to the potential victims,” Mansuri said.

Alongside the panel inquiry, a review of the Home Office’s handling of allegations of child sex abuse will be led by NSPCC head Peter Wanless.

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2 Responses to Home secretary announces wide-ranging inquiry into child sex abuse

  1. Jim Greer July 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    We have had various ghoulish and unpleasant accounts of alleged abuse on a grotesque scale by Jimmy Saville of late. If these accounts are all true then it suggests that there has been gross negligence on an epic scale. Jimmy Saville and a number of other alleged abusers are dead. However, for all this to have gone on a large number of people in positions of responsibility would have had to neglect their duties to protect children and other vulnerable people. Why then, are we not seeing full scale disciplinary proceedings and/or civil suits against the institutions and individuals who allowed these events to take place? It has never been acceptable for children to be abused or for people in power to turn a blind eye whatever people might say about permissiveness in the last century.

  2. Isobel July 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    I did my socail work post grad at the time and was actually ‘marked down’ fron a 2.1 to a 2.2 for arguing there was indeed an emerfing issues around sexuak abuse and that children should not be blamed!