A group of campaigners are angry there won’t be a full independent public inquiry into alleged historic child abuse in Nottinghamshire.
They claim Police and Council bosses are conducting an internal review without the full involvement of survivors.
For months campaigners have been calling for an independent public inquiry into alleged sexual abuse at care homes in Nottinghamshire.
They say the sheer scale of people coming forward, claiming they were abused at care homes across the city and county means it is essential.
David Hollas from the Nottinghamshire Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry Action Group said:
Recently they thought they’d had a breakthrough after meeting in Nottingham with Police, and the Heads of children’s services from the City and the County Councils.
But instead of discussing the framework of an inquiry, David Hollas claims the authorities told him they were conducting an internal review. A position that’s left some survivors deeply unhappy.
But the panel charged with carrying out the independent review says it is committed to finding out what happened at care homes in the county.
In 2011 Nottinghamshire police launched Operation Daybreak to investigate allegations of historic abuse relating to the former Beechwood Care Home in Mapperley.
In April this year a second investigation, dubbed Operation Xeres, was launched into allegations of historic child abuse at a number of different care facilities in the county.
So far two people have been charged with offences, and are currently being processed through the courts.
Three people are on police bail pending further enquiries. And detectives say they’re currently investigating allegations of abuse by more than 200 people.
Police and Council bosses say they do want more alleged victims to come forward, but that any process mustn’t prejudice the criminal investigation, or undermine the prospect of securing convictions.
Nigel O’Mara disagrees. He represents WhiteFlowers – an organisation which supports and campaigns for the rights of child abuse victims. He believes the decision by the authorities NOT to hold an open public inquiry is a mistake.
Nottinghamshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping agrees survivors should be involved in the process. But says it can’t be rushed.
Others though are impatient. Mickey Summers, who alleges he was abused in a Nottingham city care home in the 1960s, has led protests, calling for an inquiry.
The Police, City & County Councils say that once the initial internal review is complete, a Serious Case Review will then be conducted by a Safeguarding Children Board using independent report authors, panels & chairs.
In a statement they told ITV News News Central:
Since the police investigation began, many people have come forward to give statements. But for the campaigners, only an independent public inquiry will give a true picture of what really happened.