Laura Sharman 09 March 2016

Police to investigate historic children in care abuse in Essex

Essex Police have launched an investigation into allegations about historic sexual abuse against children in care.

The investigation will focus on concerns that children, particularly boys in local authority or foster care, were abused during the 1980s and 1990s.

At the time, there were a number of investigations resulting in two convictions. However, concerns have now arisen that those investigations were not thorough enough.

Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: ‘The abuse of a child, whether in the care of their parents or the state, is an abhorrent crime. Professionals who worked in Essex during the 1980s and 1990s have raised serious concerns with both Chief Constable Kavanagh and me, and it is right that Essex Police examines these allegations meticulously and seeks out any new evidence.’

Cllr David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, said: 'We are aware of historical child abuse concerns in relation to individual members of staff employed by Essex County Council in the 1980s and early 1990s.

'We know that concerns were investigated at that time by the Council and Essex Police, and appropriate actions were taken in accordance with the evidence available and convictions secured.

'However, these are clearly very serious allegations. As the Chief Constable of Essex has said, at present we have allegations but no suspects, victims or locations. If any?one has information or can help this review, we urge them to come forward and speak to the police or other specialist agencies who provide support and advice to the victims of child sexual abuse.'

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