Organised Child Sexual Exploitation in Devon and Cornwall to be Investigated by the Goddard Inquiry

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The Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has launched the ‘Public Hearings Project’ by announcing the start of the Inquiry’s investigative work.

12 initial areas of investigation have been identified by Judge Lowell Goddard. Some of these investigation are institution specific, while the others are thematic investigations.

As part of the thematic investigations the inquiry will focus on child sexual exploitation by organised networks. Systematic grooming and sexual abuse of children is widespread in this country, with Devon and Cornwall being specifically highlighted by the Inquiry, along with Oxford, Rochdale, Rotherham, and Telford.

The investigation will examine whether the authorities have learned lessons, implemented recommendations and put in place effective strategies to prevent child sexual exploitation in future.

The Inquiry will also look at whether:

  • the police are utilising civil prevention orders effectively;
  • the current regulation of the night-time economy (including taxi licensing) is effective in protecting children from abuse;
  • the criminal justice system provides appropriate treatment and support to victims of child sexual exploitation.

The investigations are part of the largest public inquiry into institutional child abuse ever held and are expected to take at least 18 months to complete.

The Inquiry will examine high-profile allegations against Members of Parliament, political advisers and senior civil servants. It will also look at allegations of establishment cover­-ups and conspiracy concerning child sexual abuse.

Further details of the announcement and the format of the Inquiry can be found here:

Our abuse team will be monitoring developments closely, particularly in respect of the thematic investigation concerning sexual abuse within Devon and Cornwall.

Anyone affected by these issues who requires advice concerning compensation or other legal issues can contact our specialist abuse lawyers on a confidential basis by calling our FREE LEGAL HELPLINE on 0808 139 1606 or emailing us at [email protected]