Nottingham City Council Child Care Was A Playground For Paedophiles

‘Hundreds of children were sexually abused by predatory foster carers and residential home staff who were allowed to thrive, an inquiry has found. Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils exposed vulnerable children to repeated rapes and physical abuse, a report pubished by The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said. The report also noted that sexualised behaviour by staff was “tolerated or overlooked,” and adults outside the professional care system were easily able to gain access to vulnerable young people.

The report also said the council had received about 350 complaints dating back to the 1960s, adding this was the biggest number of allegations of child sexual abuse for any of its investigations so far and added the “true scale is likely to be higher”. The investigation reveals the abuse of children in the Nottingham care system has many parallels with cases in Rotherham, Rochdale, Birmingham and elsewhere

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said the abuse went on “for more than five decades” and repeated failures to learn from mistakes exposed more young people to harm.

It single out the Beechwood Community Home in Mapperley, and reported staff there were “threatening and violent”, with sexualised behaviour towards children “tolerated or overlooked by managers and supervisors, allowing abusers to thrive”.

Beechwood was not the only care home where abuse went on. Children at many Nottinghamshire City and County council’s care homes as well as some placed with fostert parents were subjected to serious abuse, including repeated rapes, sexual assaults and voyeurism . One girl who was abused while in foster care was later placed in a children’s home, where she was regularly visited by her abuser.

The inquiry found in one home inspected in the early 1990s “all children resident over a 12-month period were found to have been exposed to harmful sexual behaviour.” From the late 1970s to this year, 16 residential staff and 10 foster carers were convicted of sexual abuse of children in their care.

The IICSA panel heard 15 days of evidence from 115 witnesses at public hearings in London and Nottingham in October 2018.’

Claire Blake, a witness who has waived her right to anonymity, was abused at Beechwood in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She told the panel: “I’m still suffering now and I’m 42. I didn’t even have respect for myself, never mind anyone else, I just existed.”

She said seeing the council “finally start acknowledging” abuse was a positive step, but added: “I think the people that were in charge need to be held accountable.

“They knew, and they hid it, and I think people need to be held responsible.”

BBC documentary
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Nottingham Post/BPM Media

Another witness who was abused while in the care of Nottingham council Caroline Nolan said she “withdrew within myself” because of the abuse.

“As I got older, I had very bad anger issues,” she added.

David Robinson, another who suffered in a Nottingham care home, said the report showed “things should have been addressed decades ago, at the time when children were being abused”.

“I’m astonished to find out that people who were put in a position of trust abused that trust, and were being paid for it,” he said.

John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, commented that the report showed “even today those who’ve survived child abuse in the past have not been treated properly or fairly”, and called for authorities across the country to improve.

The IICSA reported that some foster carers were allowed to continue fostering vulnerable children even when they were “known perpetrators”, including some who “then went on to abuse children again”.

It said there was “too much willingness on the part of council staff to take the side of the foster carers and to disbelieve the child”.

The IICSA found only two disciplinary actions were taken when allegations of sexual abuse were made at Beechwood, both of which “were inadequate”.

County councillors looking after the oversight of children “did not question the scale of sexual abuse or what action was being taken”, which the inquiry said was a “serious failure of scrutiny and governance”.

John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, said the report showed that “even today those who’ve survived child abuse in the past have not been treated properly or fairly”, and called for authorities across the country to improve.

“I’m astonished to find out that people who were put in a position of trust abused that trust, and were being paid for it,” he said.

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