UK

Abuse inquiry accidentally deletes victim submissions

Justice Lowell Goddard Image copyright Home Office
Image caption The inquiry's chairman is Justice Lowell Goddard

Child sex abuse victims have been asked to resubmit information to an inquiry after it was accidentally deleted.

Online forms were deleted due to a "change in our website address", the Goddard Inquiry into historical abuse said on its website.

Forms submitted to the inquiry's "share your experience" page from 14 September to 2 October had been lost, it said.

It apologised for "any inconvenience or distress", but said no information was "at risk of disclosure".

The statement does not indicate how many submissions were deleted - or whether the number is known by inquiry staff.

The inquiry, sparked by claims of paedophiles operating in Westminster in the 1980s, will investigate whether "state and non-state institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation" in England and Wales.

'Please resubmit'

In its online statement, the inquiry said its change of website address meant information was "instantly and permanently deleted before it reached our engagement team".

"Due to the security measures on our website, your information cannot be found or viewed by anyone else as it was immediately and permanently destroyed," it added.

"We would like to apologise again to anyone who submitted details to the inquiry during this time and to ask you to please resubmit your information."

New Zealand judge Justice Lowell Goddard, the inquiry's chairwoman, has said it could last until 2020.

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