The interim findings of the IICSA published in April 2018 are now available. The interim report, focused on child sexual abuse in Rochdale from the early 1960s to mid-1990s, examines placements of children made by Rochdale Council with particular regard to the institutional responses of the council, police and the Crown Prosecution Service. The report describes the former leader of Rochdale Council, Richard Farnell’s refusal to accept responsibility for events described in the enquiry as ‘shameful’. (Farnell resigned weeks after giving evidence to the Inquiry). The findings, which highlight how council-run establishments failed to keep children safe from harm, found staff at Knowl View school complacent and arguably complicit. Following evidence given re the sexual abuse at Cambridge House Boys’ Hostel, the report also details lost opportunities in recognising and prosecuting the then Rochdale MP Cyril Smith, also Honorary Secretary of the hostel, in relation to allegations of sexual abuse. Recommendation is also made that the HM Government ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, known as the Lanzarote Convention, and that that steps should be taken to make the UK fully compliant by June 2018.
The full report can be accessed at:
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