IICSA Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse Nottingham

Last year, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published their report on sexual abuse in Nottingham Care Homes.

The report was in response to allegations regarding care homes run by Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.

And during 2018, fifteen days of public hearings took place, with the report ultimately published on 31 July 2019.

 

IICSA Child Sexual Abuse Nottingham Report Findings

The report found that the number of victims that had come forward was 350, however the exact number might be higher.

And the victims reported allegations of sexual abuse from the 1960s onwards.

The Inquiry looked at a case study into Beechwood Children’s Home.

It opened on 1 November 1967 as an one‐unit remand home housing twenty boys.

The unit was not intended to be a children’s home.

Then by 1974 it had become an observation and assessment centre for children that had committed an offence, remanded in care by the Local Authority.

By 1976, the institution consisted of four units: The Lindens, Redcot (originally a separate children’s home), Enderleigh (opened in 1967 as a remand home for eighteen girls), and a central administration and teaching block.

It also housed children on an emergency basis, as well as those that were waiting for long-term placement.

Regarding this, the inquiry found that:

“… this mixed cohort of children produced further tensions resulting in difficult and sometimes very aggressive behaviour.”

 

Further Conclusions Of The IICSA Report

The IICSA report stated that the staff at Beechwood were unqualified and untrained in caring for vulnerable children.

For example, in 1979 there was only two residential staff that were professionally qualified.

Nottinghamshire Police’s damning conclusion following their Operation Daybreak was:

“[Beechwood was] riddled with abuse from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, with serious sexual abuse being most prevalent in the 1970s.”

 

Nottinghamshire Police’s Involvement In Reporting

Nottinghamshire Police recorded around 95 allegations of sexual abuse occurring at Beechwood between 1967 and 1980, including allegations of rape, buggery, sexual assault, and being inappropriately touched or watched in the showers.

During 1985 alone, they received reports of 400 incidents of children absconding from the home.

Other incidents that same year include a girl dying following her fall from a window at the home and girls from the home were working in a “sex club”.

 

Culture Of Violence And Neglect

The IICSA report further revealed that “the culture in Beechwood was of violence, and staff ignored the abuse of children”.

This culture prevented victims from reporting the abuse because they were fearful of the repercussions.

Indeed, one victim said he thought the regular physical abuse was normal.

The report also found that sexual behaviour by staff was tolerate or overlooked.

Consequently, this allowed the abuse to thrive.

The staff at Beechwood were physically violent and most children were sexually abused and raped by staff.

And despite the high numbers of allegations of child sexual abuse whilst Beechwood was open, only two disciplinaries ever took place.

Ultimately, Beechwood Children’s Home ran for 39 years.

During that period, Beechwood was the subject of recommendations of closure on three occasions.

It finally closed in around the end of 2006 or beginning of 2007.

 

More Recent Police Investigations

Police investigations into abuse at Beechwood and other children’s homes in Nottinghamshire started in 2010.

Nine years later and there have been sixteen convictions of residential staff for the sexual abuse of children in care homes.

In additions  to this, there have been a further twelve convictions relating to harmful sexual behaviour.

The IICSA report concluded that both Nottinghamshire City and County Councils still do not have a process in place for the reporting child sexual abuse allegations, stating:

“… neither of the Councils learned from their mistakes despite over 30 years of evidence of failure to protect children in care”.

Professor Alexis Jay, Chair of the Inquiry, further stated:

“For decades, children who were in the care of the Nottinghamshire Councils suffered appalling sexual and physical abuse …”

“[Abuse] … inflicted by those who should have nurtured and protected them.”

“Those responsible for overseeing the care of children failed to question the extent of [the] sexual abuse .”

“Despite decades of evidence and many reviews showing what needed to change, neither of the Councils learnt from their mistakes, meaning that more children suffered unnecessarily.”

“We hope this report and recommendations can help ensure it never happens again.”

 

The IICSA Report Recommendations

The final report by the IICSA made two recommendations, the details of which can be found by referring to our previous blog post about this report.

To date, there have been hundreds of civil compensation claims against Nottinghamshire County Council.

And this is something Jordans Solicitors can help with.

 

Supporting Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse

Jordans Solicitors have a specialist team of lawyers that deal with Child Abuse Compensation claims.

We successfully represent numerous victims that have suffered physical and sexual abuse at various institutions, including Beechwood Children’s Home.

Our child abuse lawyers have successfully managed to settle claims against Nottinghamshire County Council and have even managed to obtain a formal apology from the Council for our client.

Therefore, if you are a survivor of historic child abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our specialist team can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim.

Here at Jordans Solicitors we have successfully represented numerous victims of abuse, securing them compensation in the process.

Our Child Abuse Compensation team are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases.

They can be contacted by telephoning 0800 9555 094 or 0330 300 1103.

Alternatively, you can request a call back from them by filling-in this form.


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