A snapshot of progress of the IICSA

The next three hearings of the IICSA proceeded on 27 July giving more clarification about the investigations in to the Anglican Church; Lambeth Council; and Rochdale, Cambridge House and Knowl View. An overview of their progress is as follows:

Lambeth – “the scale of the disclosure exercise is genuinely enormous.” In addition to the CHILE (a previous inquiry) archive there are 100,000 items in the “Restore” archive (mostly children’s files), and 26,000 further boxes of material.

Key questions to be considered:

  1. To what extent were children sexually abused whilst in care of Lambeth?
  2. Was the sexual abuse of children organised in the sense that the abusers enabled other abusers to have access to other children?
  3. What evidence was before the council at the material time that children were at risk of sexual abuse?
  4. To what extent did Lambeth put children at risk of sexual abuse by its recruitment process and management of homes?
  5. Was the response of the council and individual employees to sexual abuse adequate?
  6. What was the experience of children who were fostered?

Number of core participants – five. No awards for legal expenses funding.

Timetable – to be confirmed, no indication provided as yet of when and from whom evidence will be heard.

Anglican – “The evidence received to date demonstrates already the enormous task to be carried out in this investigation

Key questions to be considered:

  1. Prevalence of child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church.
  2. Adequacy of Anglican church’ policies and practices in relation to safeguarding and child protection, governance, training, governance, leading, recruiting, information sharing, disciplinary, and church’s approach as to accountability and reparation.
  3. Extent of culture in church which inhibits proper investigation and exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse.
  4. The adequacy of the Church of England 2007 and 2009 past cases reviews and the Church of Wales 2009 and 2010 historic cases review.
  5. Nature and extent of any failures of the Anglican Church, law enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities or public authorities, and statutory agencies to protect children from abuse by people associated with the Anglican Church.
  6. Extent to which the Church of England sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes, and provide support and reparations in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with Chichester Diocese in response to criminal investigations and prosecutions, civil litigation, investigations reviews, inquiries, and complaints made under the Clergy Discipline Measure or other internal or external reviews or guidance.
  7. Sexual offending by former Bishop Peter Ball including the extent to which Church of England, law enforcement agencies prosecuting authorities and any other institutions or bodies or persons of prominence failed to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse by Peter Ball.
  8. The extent to which any failings identified in Chichester and re Peter Ball are representative of wider failings in the Church of England or the Anglican church in general

Number of documents provided to date – over 7,000 items of disclosure by the Archbishop’s Council alone

Number of core participants – 36 individuals and organisations, legal expenses funding awarded to 24 individuals.

Research to date – a Rapid Evidence Assessment has been undertaken into the literature and evidence which exists concerning the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches. 114 sources have been considered to date.

Timetable – to be confirmed, no indication provided as yet of when and from whom evidence will be heard.

Rochdale – “The investigation goes much wider than the specific allegations against Smith

Key material to be considered

  1. Documents provided to the Garnham Review (in connection with Cyril Smith and Knowl View.)
  2. Social services records of children mentioned in the Garnham Review papers
  3. Any material relating to the possible sexual abuse of children at various other children’s homes including Cambridge House, Foxholmes, Elmfield, Woodland’s, Berwyn Avenue, Red Bank and Poplar House
  4. Police and CPS files re Cyril Smith
  5. Disciplinary records relating to two members of staff accused of abuse
  6. Material relating to civil claims brought against Rochdale Borough Council

Number of core participants – 13 (16 applications received). Eight awards of legal expenses funding.

Research to date – the research team has prepared information about the demographics of Rochdale from the 1960s to the present day. It has prepared an appreciation of the socio-economic context and challenges faced by the people of Rochdale over the decades. There has been an analysis of the failure to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse in care. Also consideration of deprivation; numbers of looked after children; issues with ethnic diversity; and which NHS institutions might have had some knowledge of CSE.

Timetable – the investigation is well advanced. Draft witness list is complete and request for statements is likely to be made in next month. It is anticipated hearings should be able to commence soon after conclusion of the investigation into Lord Janner however it is not possible to set a precise or ballpark date when that might be. The Inquiry will hold a further preliminary hearing before the end of the year. The best estimate is it ought to be possible to inform Core Participants as to a realistic start date by the end of October this year.


Written by Paula Jefferson, Partner

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