Sexual abuse casts a long shadow over Westminster.
Last week we found out that former MP Mike Hill has been ordered to pay almost half a million pounds in damages to a former employee he sexually harassed and victimised. Details can be found here. His insurance cover is said to be limited to £250,000 and to have been exhausted in legal costs. The claimant is considering pursuing the House of Commons for any shortfall.
Last week we also heard that a male Conservative MP was arrested over allegations of sexual assault – including rape – dating back to 2002 – 2009. This MP is not allowed to attend the House of Commons during the investigation. In accordance with their usual practice the Met Police have not named him, and the press have not reported his identity either. This follows the February 2022 judgment of the Supreme Court case in the case of Bloomberg LP v ZXC  UKSC 5. The Supreme Court ruled that in general a person under criminal investigation has, prior to being charged, a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of information relating to that investigation. The expectation is that if he is charged, he will be named.
To recap on yesterday’s blog, the monitoring of responses to recommendations made by IICSA is a formal process and IICSA expect institutions to set out how they plan to respond to the recommendations made within six months of the recommendations being published. Yesterday we covered responses from
- Nottinghamshire Councils
- Accountability and Reparations
- Children Outside the UK Phase 2
Today’s blog will look at the responses from:
- Anglican Church
The cost of providing safe and secure care for children over the last 5 years has far exceeded the budget available. As Westminster Grants are cut back the costs continue to rise.
It is estimated that there has been an over spend of around £3bn in the budgets of local authorities for children’s safety. The Local Government Association (LGA) called on the Government to make use of the coming review of children’s social care as an opportunity to look at why the needs for care have increased and take the chance of addressing this problem.
|Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale
||On 12 April 2018 the IICSA published its report. The Panel provided an Executive Summary and drew a number of the conclusions. The Inquiry made no recommendations because they will be considering evidence that is relevant to the protection of children in the care of local authorities in the outstanding local authority as well as in some of the thematic investigation. They consider they will then be better placed to make overarching recommendations. Despite this, the Inquiry expect the public bodies involved in this investigation to reflect on their report and make changes to their practice as necessary to protect children in the future. See our earlier blog for details of the report’s conclusions: https://blmabusenewsblog.com/2018/04/12/iicsas-second-report-cambridge-house-knowl-view-and-rochdale/.
|Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks
||The Inquiry is not accepting applications for Core Participant (CP) status or requesting evidence currently.
The Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.
|Accountability and Reparations
||A preliminary hearing took place on 8 May 2018 to provide an update on the latest developments.
Since the last preliminary hearing IICSA has granted CP status to four victim/survivors from St Aidan’s, another victim/survivor for Forde Park and another victim/survivor for Stanhope Castle. In total there are now 41 CP victims and survivors across the case study institutions. 26 finalised statements have now been received. It has been reiterated that the investigation will not examine or resolve disputed factual issues relating to the underlying abuse.
IICSA’s proposals for the focus of the w case studies are:
- North Wales Children’s Homes – civil litigation
- Forde Park – the overall management of the Forde Park civil litigation, and the litigation process itself, in particular how the claims were settled and how that settlement was perceived by the victims and survivors
- St Leonard’s – as per Forde Park
- St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s – the process of civil litigation, in particular limitation, and how this impacted on the experiences of victims and survivors
- Stanhope Castle – knowledge of and access to civil litigation and criminal compensation (from the CICA).
A further and final preliminary hearing has been listed for 25 September 2018 to deal with any outstanding matters ahead of the public hearings which run from 26 November to 13 December 2018.
|Children in Custodial Institutions
||Public hearings were held in July 2018 for 2 weeks. The investigation examined the prevalence and culture of child sexual abuse in custody as well as the institutional responses to those allegations. The current safeguarding and child protection policies were also examined. During the hearings a selection of allegations of recent sexual abuse were analysed in relation to Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institutions at Feltham and Werrington; Medway and Rainsbrook Secure Training Centres; Vinney Green Secure Unit; and Aycliffe Secure Centre.
A report on this phase of the investigation is expected in early 2019.
||A week of public hearings was held from 22-26 January 2018.
Applications will be requested for more CPs in due course. As the investigation is currently narrowly focused to consider the response of law enforcement agencies no internet specific organisation is a CP.
|Investigation into the Institutional Responses to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC
||In April 2017 the Inquiry published a Notice of Determination and revised the scope of this investigation. IICSA does not wish to prejudice the investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and Leicestershire Police.
No further updates.
|Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils
||A second preliminary hearing was held on 31 January 2018.
The public hearings start on 1 October 2018.
There are currently 90 CPs including 83 individuals who allege that they were sexually abused whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.
|Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church
||The first public hearing in relation to the Chichester Diocese case study was held in March 2018. There were twenty themes and issues being considered.
A hearing in connection with the Peter Ball case study was held last week.
A further public hearing relating the wider Anglican Church will proceed in 2019.
|Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools
||Currently no CPs designated but applications are likely to be called for in September 2018. In its interim report IICSA identified it does not intend to name specific school led case studies but rather to consider themes across schools including governance, reporting and whistleblowing, recruitment and termination of employment, inspection and monitoring, and culture
|Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Linked to Westminster
||Three weeks of public hearings will take place from 4 March 2019.
|Protection of Children Outside the UK
||The Panel’s report, it’s first on all of its investigations, into the Child Migration Case Study was published on 1 March 2108. See our previous blog for details of the recommendations made: https://blmabusenewsblog.com/2018/03/27/iicsas-first-report/.
The second case study in this investigation is examining whether the civil framework is adequate for preventing, and notifying foreign authorities of, foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children. A public hearing on this case study will take place in February 2019.
|Children in the Care of Lambeth Council
||Preliminary hearings were held in this investigation in March and July 2016.
IICSA are reviewing vast quantities of information before a public hearing is scheduled. It has recently sought submissions from CPs on proposals for the investigation to focus on three case studies on the following homes: Angell Road, Southvale Assessment Centre and Shirley Oaks
|Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church
||Further public hearings relating to the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study will take place from 12-16 November 2018.
Public hearings relating to the Ealing Abbey case study will commence on 4 February 2019.
Initial hearings which focused on the Benedictine Order, in particular at Ampleforth and Downside were held in November 2017. The report in connection with those hearings will be published on 9 August 2018.
Authored by Miriam Rahamim, BLM
BLM has published the latest edition of it’s Abuse News Briefing, a digest of news and developments related to child sexual abuse. Continue reading
Hon. Lowell Goddard DNZM has today announced in detail the initial 12 investigations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The Inquiry has previously explained that it will hold case studies which will be across the five designated workstreams. The announcement today includes the first investigations which will form the basis of the initial case studies. These are as follows: