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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Skates demands full-scale child abuse investigation

* Ken Skates AM.
Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates has called for a whole scale criminal investigation into institutional child abuse in the UK.
Over the past week evidence has emerged that was not considered as part of the original inquiry into child abuse in North Wales during the 1970s and 80s.
It follows criticism from Steve Messham, one of hundreds who were sexually abused during that period.
The Children's Commissioner for Wales has written to The First Minister this week to request a new, fresh inquiry with wider terms of refereMr Skatesnce than the original Waterhouse inquiry which examined cases of child abuse in care homes in former county council areas of Clwyd and Gwynedd between 1974 and 1990.
However, the AM said that with so many inquiries being commissioned it was time for one overarching criminal investigation into the abuse allegations.
Raising the issue with the First Minister in the Senedd on Tuesdaywho was also a journalist at the time of the original Waterhouse inquiry, said: “The abuse that went on in care homes in the 1970s and 1980s was truly sickening and horrific.
“The problem of institutional abuse goes well beyond the confines of North Wales. That is why I believe that merely looking at the issue as isolated cases of abuse in North Wales care homes or within institutions such as the BBC won't get to the root of the problem.
“I believe Operation Yewtree, the criminal investigation into alleged abuse by Jimmy Savile and others, should be broadened into an overarching investigation to include allegations of abuse of children residing in care homes.
“Clear themes and lines of enquiries are already emerging, so Operation Yewtree needs to become a much wider investigation with the power and resources to examine child abuse and organised paedophile rings right across the UK.
“Whilst a lot of important lessons came out of the original Waterhouse report, the restraints of the inquiry mean some of the victims feel they have not had their say and that some child abusers have not been brought to justice.
“Steve Messham's claims, as well as those of others who might come forward in the next few weeks and months, need to be investigated fully and offenders brought to court.”

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