The head of the police investigation set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal and the initial Yewtree probe has revealed a startling number of "famouse people" may be involved in the proceedings.
Operation Hydrant was set up to follow on the work started by Operation Yewtree, with specific focus on tackling organisations alleged to have been implicated in historical abuse cases. In addition to dealing with state institutions the probe also handles allegations against prominent people who have or once did have celebrity status.
More than 300 people fall into this category and it would seem that we are braced for further revelations about who may well be involved. Policitians, members of the aristocracy along with major celebrities are potentially implicated. There are said to be more than 2000 people under suspicion as enquiries continue. Incredibly the investigation involves 756 institutions or state organisations.
More revelations will follow as and when Operation Hydrant unfolds.
The Inquiry into historical sex abuse in the UK has finally got underway headed by New Zealander Justice Lowell-Goddard.
The inquiry is examining how public bodies handled abuse claims over the course of the last 30 years and it is expected to be wide ranging but also controversial. It has taken more than 12 months for the Inquiry to commence following a series of inappropriate appointments. Remarkably the Inquiry is set to last 5 years with final conclusions unlikely before 2020. The costs to the public purse is estimated at £10 million with Judge Goddard herself claiming an annual salary of £360,000.
One very positive initiative announced already by the Inquiry panel is the introduction of a new Helpline for survivors of abuse. This helpline has been set up to allow anyone who was sexually abused in an institutional setting, such as a school, care home, hospital or religious organisation to give evidence and have their story heard. Allegations that could lead to criminal proceedings are also being passed to officers on Operation Hydrant who will forward information to the relevant local police force.
If you have been affected by sexual abuse involving a public body you can contact the Inquiry team by dialling: 0800 917 1000
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has updated its "Purple Book" to improve assessment and management of children exposed to sexual abuse
Almost 3000 children in the UK were put under protection measures last year to prevent sexual abuse. It can be very difficult for clinicians and other experts to identify signs of abuse in children but the RCPCH have in the past sought to help members by providing guidance in the form of a book titled .. ‘The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse’, also known as ‘The Purple Book,’. This brings together the latest knowledge and evidence to aid clinical decision-making. The Purple Book has not been updated since 2008 and now contains 3 new key chapters - anogenital signs of accidental injuries in girls and boys, genital bleeding in prepubertal girls and healing in anogenital injuries.
This focus provides much needed training and guidance for busy practitioners who might not always spot what to others may seem suspicious or worrying.
The main article is here
In what seems a remarkable and deeply depressing story, it has been alleged that some local councils in the UK have failed to investigate reports of abuse to avoid insurer scrutiny and keep premiums down.
In a BBC investigation it has been found that a number of insurers have placed pressure on councils both before and during complaint investigations, very often steering the procedures which potentially had an influence on the outcome. What is alleged is that councils were constrained by the insurers in a way that may well have inhibited their ability and their willingness to tackle the abuse issues in a thorough way.
In the wake of recent scandals and the new era of openness we are in regarding sexual abuse and the need to report criminal activity this news does not promote a positive view of either the councils involved or the insurers. One should have an interest in safeguarding its residents and council tax payers, the other should not restrict serious potentially criminal investigations to benefit its business interests.
The Government today revealed a series of measures to restrict the freedom currently enjoyed by paedophiles online.
With grooming rife and the "dark net" allowing abusers to hide under a veil of secrecy, the government has enlisted web experts to look for ways to identify those who participate in illegal activity. Requesting explicit images from a child using online or any other methods will be made illegal. Internet companies such as Google and Microsoft will be introducing measures to restrict searches for offensive material and they intend to make reporting suspicious or offensive material easier to do.
Victims of the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile are calling for a single inquiry into how he escaped justice when alive, amid fears that lessons are not being learnt from the case.
There are presently about 30 separate investigations taking place into the activities of the former Radio 1 DJ undertaken by organisations with which Mr Savile had links, including the BBC and the NHS. However, victims are calling for one single wide-ranging inquiry, chaired by a High Court judge, to ensure that important questions surrounding the case are answered.
The BBC is due to publish its findings later this month while 32 NHS hospitals are looking into concerns that he abused vulnerable patients during his visits there. Some reports have already published their findings with one by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC describing Savile, who died in 2011, as a “prolific, predatory sex offender”, who had 214 criminal offences recorded against him across 28 separate police forces.
Solicitors representing 60 of Savile’s victims say most are not satisfied by the holding of separate inquiries through the fear that those already looking into the case do not have the necessary independence, scope and power to address important details. They say that only a single inquiry with the power to summon witnesses and release documents will achieve what they are looking for.