Nottingham

Goddard inquiry: Nottinghamshire child sexual abuse investigated

The Honourable Lowell Goddard speaks during an update to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in London, England Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Justice Lowell Goddard said Nottinghamshire is one of 12 separate investigations in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

The abuse of children in care in Nottinghamshire is to be investigated as part of a national inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Nottinghamshire Police has been investigating abuse in the county's care homes since 2010, and 263 victims have reported offences so far.

The inquiry will also look at children cared for by foster carers and adoptive parents.

The councils involved have both welcomed the inquiry.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Complainants from Nottinghamshire include the actress Samantha Morton, who said she was sexually abused by two residential care workers

Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council said in a statement: "From the outset, we have taken these allegations seriously, some of which date back to the 1940s when predecessor organisations were in charge of children's homes.

"We welcome the independent scrutiny that the Goddard Inquiry (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) will bring to cases of historical sexual abuse and will engage fully with it."

Complainants from Nottinghamshire include actress Samantha Morton, who said she was sexually abused by two residential care workers in a Nottingham children's home.

The offences reported in the county are not all of a sexual nature.

However, the Goddard inquiry will focus on the "sexual abuse and exploitation" of children in care, and will investigate the extent of any "institutional failures" of the councils to protect children from this.

Nigel O'Mara - founder of East Midlands Survivors and co-chair of Nottingham CSA Inquiry Action Group

The Goddard inquiry was expected to come to Nottinghamshire. We knew that they were aware of the scale of abuse here as we met with them earlier in the year to discuss how survivors were going to be engaged with.

The big difference it will make is that the inquiry intends to highlight any failings made within the local authorities and services and will be more thorough than just an investigation of a crime.

My own experiences included being sexually abused in my home as a child and then in a children's home that I was in where I was prostituted as a child.

Having worked with survivors of abuse since 1986 I am very aware of the many thousands of survivors who have been ignored and re-abused by the failings of local authorities and services over many decades.

Even inspectors of care homes who were bringing up problems were harassed and forced out of the system.

East Midlands Survivors on Facebook

Nottinghamshire will be one of 12 separate investigations in England and Wales.

Nottinghamshire's Chief Constable Chris Eyre and Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping have held discussions with the inquiry team over the last eight months to encourage it to focus on Nottinghamshire.

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Media captionJustice Lowell Goddard: "We will conduct an investigation into allegations against... certain people of public prominence associated with Westminster"

Mr Tipping said in a statement: "This is a huge step in the right direction and I'm really grateful that the Goddard team has listened to our appeals for Nottinghamshire to become part of the national inquiry.

"I have met a good many of the survivors and they have impressed upon me the importance of this inquiry and their wish to have the opportunity to tell their story and to have that story heard."

He encouraged any victims of abuse to come forward and go to police if they have not done so already.

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