Thursday, April 24, 2008
Jersey child abuse; Northumbria Police; Operation Rose
1. "The police officer leading the inquiry into alleged abuse at a former children's home in Jersey is to step down from his post.
"Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper has headed the investigation since child skull fragments were found in February.
"Jersey Police said Mr Harper, 56, would retire in August whatever the progress of the Haut de la Garenne probe." -Jersey home officer to step down
2. "Northumbria Police deputy chief constable David Warcup is on the verge of confirming his appointment to replace the man currently in charge of one of the UK’s biggest ever child abuse inquiries.
"Last night, Jersey Police would only confirm it was in talks with Mr Warcup, who has been with Northumbria for 32 years, but an official announcement is understood to be a matter of days away." - Police chief in move to Jersey
3. Northumbria Police
"Seventeen police employees are suspended on full pay for allegations including assault, burglary, deception and being drunk and disorderly...
"Figures obtained by the Chronicle under the Freedom of Information Act revealed Northumbria Police has 12 police officers, a special constable, a community support officer and a civilian member of staff currently suspended on full pay.
"These include two sergeants accused of assault and PCs accused of dishonesty, attempted burglary and inappropriate behaviour.
"One PC has been suspended for 25 months - on a salary of £29,029 and in total these suspensions alone have so far cost the force £215,635.
"The figure is much higher than neighbouring Durham Constabulary where just one officer and one support staff member are suspended on full pay...
"Deputy Chief Constable David Warcup, who takes the final decision on suspending officers, defended his approach." - Cached
4. Northumbria Police
Operation Rose saw more than 200 people investigated but in the end only six convicted.
"The £5m inquiry led to 558 claims of assault, rape and other sexual abuse from 277 residents or former residents of 61 care homes.
"The methods used by Northumbria police have been referred to the Commons home affairs committee, which is studying the handling of hundreds of similar child abuse allegations in care homes.
"The scale of the north-east inquiry has emerged with the lifting of a legal gag. The two years of reporting restrictions on the trials of 32 north-east care workers and teachers linked to 142 allegations of child abuse, ended on Tuesday with the collapse of the final case in Newcastle crown court." - Cached
5. "OPERATION Rose was one of the country's biggest investigations into historic sexual and physical child abuse.
"The inquiry was launched in August 1997 when a woman in her 20s disclosed to a social worker that she and a friend had been both sexually and physically abused as children while living in a children's home in the Northumbria Police area.
"After a meeting between police and social services, an investigation was launched, centring on council-run care homes in the North-East and stemming from initial allegations in Newcastle and Northumberland.
"Officers manning a confidential telephone line for people who were in care between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s received 23 calls in the first 24 hours, from people complaining of sexual and physical assault.
"Initial inquiries revealed six victims alleging abuse by eight suspects who had worked in homes across the region going back to the 1960s.
"As the inquiry continued, the number of alleged victims escalated.
"In 1998, the inquiry was broadened to include renewed allegations concerning carers working at Witherwack House, Sunderland, which had been subject to an earlier investigation in 1992.
Over the full three-year life of the police investigation, almost 200 care workers were the subject of allegations and 32 were charged.
"In total, 260 residents and former residents of 61 children's homes came forward to make allegations of physical and sexual assault.
"Six people were eventually found guilty of a variety of charges, of which five were jailed." - How Operation Rose began
6. "How many masons I wonder were involved in the child abuse cases at Witherwack Estate, Sunderland. Why were masons at the Sunderland Civic Centre trying to hush the whole thing up?" - Cached
"The forms of punishment employed by the staff at Witherwack House included restraint techniques... I often heard screams of other residents being abused. Indeed I witnessed a rape of a girl who was eight or nine at the time - I tried to intervene but I was beaten senseless for my trouble - it was the best kicking of my life." - Cached