Charity urges 'overarching inquiry'

Hillingdon Times: Lessons must be learned from the Jimmy Savile and other child abuse inquiries, according to the NSPCC Lessons must be learned from the Jimmy Savile and other child abuse inquiries, according to the NSPCC

A children's charity has called for an overarching review into "lessons learned" from a host of child abuse inquiries currently under way.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) spoke out after a series of probes were launched covering allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile, North Wales's Bryn Estyn children's home, and the grooming and sexual abuse of children in Rochdale and Rotherham.

Andrew Flanagan, NSPCC chief executive, said: "The NSPCC believes that the Government should now commit to an overarching 'lessons learned' review to pull together the findings from all the current inquiries into child abuse, once they are completed.

"There is a need to ensure that the public has confidence that the numerous inquiries under way will result not only in justice for people who have suffered abuse, but in improvements to the way we protect today's children.

"It's vital any review puts the needs of victims right at its heart and ensures recommendations are implemented in full.

"Whilst the cases of Jimmy Savile, Bryn Estyn children's home, and others, may appear to be quite different there will be similar failings, both from institutions and individuals."

He added that "public and political opinion will shift in a similar way to that seen following the death of baby Peter Connelly," who died in 2007 after horrendous abuse at home.

"We must maintain this momentum and use this opportunity to fundamentally change how we help children and young people to talk about abuse," said Mr Flanagan.

"As a country, and individually, we should commit to helping young people speak out as soon as they fear they are at risk, or as soon as abuse starts, not months or even years later. Much has improved in recent years but the cases of grooming gangs in Rochdale, Rotherham and elsewhere show that major failures in child protection can and do still occur.

"Confidence in the system and the authorities' ability to take action is at serious risk; we must now act decisively if we are to turn this around."

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