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.