Samantha Morton

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Police launch major investigation into claims of sexual abuse at Nottinghamshire care homes dating back 75 years

Published April 8, 2015 by misty534
  • Operation Xeres will focus on abuse claims at Skegby Hall children’s home
  • Inquiry will have a team of 20 looking into the historical abuse claims 
  • More than 20 claims have been made relating to abuse in care homes

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Skegby Hall in Mansfield, which was a former children’s care home. Police have launched an investigation looking into claims of sexual abuse at the home

Police have launched a major investigation into claims of sexual abuse at care homes in Nottinghamshire dating back more than 70 years.

Operation Xeres will focus on allegations relating to abuse at Skegby Hall children’s home near Mansfield.

The inquiry will also look into nine other centres in Nottinghamshire where children were said to have been physically or sexually abused.

The 10 centres, all of which have either closed or changed their use since the time of the alleged abuse, also includes Whatton Youth Detention Centre.

Also being investigated are three former residential centres in Mansfield and five others in Worksop, Southwell and Stapleford.

The inquiry will have a team of 20 people looking into the abuse claims and will also include two social workers.

Three of the 23 allegations relate to a former youth detention centre, where teenage inmates were detained with the oldest claim dating back to the 1940s.

Police will look at whether the abuse was systematic or organised.

However, they say they are aware many of the records relating to the homes may no longer exist and that some of the alleged perpetrators may have died.

The investigation comes after calls for an inquiry by people who claimed they were sexually abused at Skegby Hall.

The investigation called Operation Xeres has been launched by Nottinghamshire Police, pictured. The inquiry will have a team of 20 people looking into the abuse claims and will also include two social workers

A separate inquiry called Operation Daybreak is already looking at child abuse at homes in Nottingham in the 1960s and 70s.

It comes after 189 former residents of 18 children’s homes in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire say they were abused between the 1950s and 1980s.

So far 11 people have been arrested in connection with the inquiry.

Among the victims to speak to Nottinghamshire Police in connection with alleged abuse is Golden Globe and Bafta winner, Samantha Morton.

The actress who spent most of her childhood living in institutions in Nottingham, spoke out last year saying she was abused by two male residential home workers at the Red Tile Children’s Home when she was just 13.

The double-Oscar nominee said she decided to waive her right to anonymity in the wake of a report detailing sexual exploitation of 1,400 children over a period of 16 years in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Jennifer Newton

Insurance companies ‘suppressed facts’ about child sex abuse

Published January 14, 2015 by misty534

Insurance companies tried to “suppress” information about child sex abuse in council care homes, a whistleblower has claimed.

Tim Hulbert, a retired civil servant and local authority chief, said he was “instructed” by a county council’s insurers not to admit liability or apologise to victims involved in a sex abuse investigation.

Mr Hulbert said he believed his experience – when he headed social services in Bedfordshire – had not been an isolated incident, and accused insurers of “immoral and obscene” behaviour which had allowed the full extent of abuse to remain hidden.

It came as Theresa May, the Home Secretary, came under renewed pressure to start the national child sex abuse inquiry as more than 300 abuse victims, whistleblowers, MPs and campaigners met at the Houses of Parliament.

Phil Frampton, a campaigner and survivor of abuse who chaired the meeting, said: “In our view the inquiry remains a mess.

“But we believe that Theresa May has the opportunity to rescue it.”

Mr Hulbert, who retired from Bedfordshire county council 20 years ago, has previously played a major role in exposing concerns about child sex abuse.

It emerged last year that when Mr Hulbert previously worked for the Home Office he challenged a decision to award taxpayers’ money to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which was formed in the 1970s to campaign for a reduction in the age of consent.

Mr Hulbert worked in the department’s Voluntary Services Unit which approved grants to various outside organisations in the late 1970s and early 80s, and challenged his manager over why money was being given to PIE.

He claims he was told the grants were sanctioned by Special Branch.

Mr Hulbert told the meeting: “Some insurers sought to suppress facts and justice for vulnerable young people in order to protect their own commercial interests.

“Put simply, out of greed.

“I find this approach immoral and obscene and I think it’s actually a part of the abuse that had been allowed to exist in this country.”

He declined to name the insurance company but said it was a household name and operated internationally.

Mr Hulbert said he had been advised by the insurance company not to admit liability or apologise because it “implied guilt”. Other council officers were also spoken to by the company along with senior councillors, he added.

Samantha Morton, the Oscar-nominated actress who disclosed last year that she was abused as a teenager, sent a message of support to the rally.

“We will not be forgotten and we will not be quiet,” she said.

“Abuse is happening right now to a child or an infant that is desperately in need of rescuing.”

Morton, who said in September she was abused by two residential care workers when she was in care in Nottingham in the Nineties, urged campaigners to “come together as one to stop child abuse and stop the perpetrators of this horrific crime”.

Two women appointed to lead the Government inquiry –Baroness Butler-Sloss, the retired judge, and Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London – had to resign last year after it emerged they had links with Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, whose conduct as a Cabinet minister in the Eighties is likely to come under scrutiny during the proceedings.

The Home Office has yet to announce a replacement.

by David Barrett