Wales child abuse: 105 cases being investigated

  • 17 December 2012
  • From the section Wales
Media captionBBC Wales reporter Matthew Richards explained how the investigation was developing

An investigation into allegations of historical child abuse at north Wales care homes has received information from 105 victims since November.

Police say Operation Pallial has heard from new and previously known victims, and say offenders must be "investigated and brought to justice".

The operation was launched after claims that an original inquiry uncovered only a fraction of abuse.

It has heard from victims in 22 police force areas across the UK and Ireland.

The investigation into allegations at care homes in the former counties of Clwyd and Gwynedd is being led by the head of the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Operation Pallial involves 27 police officers and staff, primarily from forces in north-west England, supported by members of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

It has heard from victims now living throughout the UK and Ireland in 22 force areas outside north Wales.

Senior investigating officer Det Supt Ian Mulcahey, of Merseyside Police, said the investigation would "follow the evidence without fear or favour".

He added: "Operation Pallial is investigating new allegations of historic child abuse, some from victims previously known about and some from victims who have come forward for the first time.

"All victims of abuse have a right to expect all allegations of abuse, no matter how much time has passed, to be investigated professionally and appropriately. We will do so.

"Equally importantly, if offenders are still alive they must be identified, investigated and brought to justice, with those who still have access to children being prioritised."

Victims have either contacted police directly, or raised concerns through the NSPCC or the Children's Commissioner for Wales.

A report will be submitted to the chief constable of North Wales Police and Home Secretary Theresa May in April 2013.

A separate review by Mrs Justice Macur will investigate the terms of the Waterhouse abuse inquiry, which began in 1996 and examined the abuse of victims in north Wales care homes across decades.

It followed a victim's claim that Sir Ronald Waterhouse only uncovered a fraction of the abuse.

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