Allegations of abuse accepted by police with little evidence

Three chapters from the report drafted by Sir Richard Henriques into the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) handling of the investigation into allegations of abuse made by ‘Nick’ (real name Carl Beech) against Lord Brittan, Lord Bramall, Harvey Proctor and others, were re-published on 4 October 2019. Click here to read the report.  The three chapters alone run to 391 pages and were previously released three years ago, but were heavily redacted at the time.

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Universities in the spotlight: Sexual abuse on campus – the UK perspective

There has been a marked increase in the number of reported incidents of sexual assaults or misconduct made by students. BBC File on Four (17 September 2019) asked 115 universities the number of complaints they received.  80 universities replied.  The combined number of complaints was more than 700 last year.  According to Channel Four, incidents reported went from 65 in 2014 to 626 in 2018, an 85% increase.  165 allegations of rape or sexual assault have been reported by students at one university alone in the last three years.  This trend reflects an increased willingness to report incidents – although many are never reported – and an increased willingness to investigate them.

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Children’s Commissioner publishes a statutory Duty of Care for online service providers

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, has challenged Government Ministers to adopt her “powerful yet simple” proposals and create a statutory duty of care to all children who use online services.

Children who use these platforms are frequently exposed to harmful material and are at risk of online grooming.

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Victims of abuse at Aston Hall criticise Government’s compensation deal

Around 120 individuals have now come forward stating they were abused by Dr Kenneth Milner in the 1960s and 70s.

Dr Milner worked as the medical superintendent at Aston Hall psychiatric hospital in Derbyshire. The hospital treated children with learning disabilities and mental health issues.

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Bob Higgins: Child Sex Abuse re-trials urged by Commissioner

Bob Higgins, former football coach, was sentenced to 24 years and three months imprisonment in June 2019 for abusing young players at Southampton FC and Peterborough United between 1971 and 1996.

He was previously acquitted of charges against six complainants in 1992. These six complainants were told that their allegations against Mr Higgins were ‘not serious’ enough for re-trial.

The recent conviction of Bob Higgins prompted the Victims’ Commissioner of England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird, to propose a wider remit of child sexual abuse cases which could be eligible for a re-trial.

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Abuse in athletics – a recent conviction

Philip Banning, a former Welsh national athletics coach has this week been jailed for seven and a half years, with his name put on the sex offenders register for life, for abusing four girls all under the age of 16, at Andover Athletic Club between 1976 and 1982.  Banning, who also represented Great Britain at the 1975 European Indoor Championships, pleaded guilty to 18 counts of indecent assault at Winchester Crown Court.  In sentencing, the judge commented that Banning had been ‘idolised’ by his victims and that he was responsible for a ‘grave abuse of trust’.

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