Wednesday 26 February 2014

Is It Worth It?

The question was asked today, Can any good actually come from the whole re-investigation of the abuses in North Wales?
The answer has Got to be yes was my immediate response and I posted my response as "It already has been because we got contact back with each other."
This was quickly followed by somebody in agreement with me.
Then I started thinking about the different angles from which it can be viewed.

Mental Scars - 
Yes, we all have them, most of them run deep. 
The re-investigation has severe ramifications on all possible scenario. 
  • A few along the way had managed to gloss over the cracks and start to function as human beings on the edge of society. Somebody comes along and picks at the gloss until they find a weak spot and everything falls apart.
  • Some had managed to find a few bags of cement and proper seal over the demons, get a job, a life and actually make something of themselves despite society. Somebody comes along and digs away at your past, disrupts your life with questions you really didn't want to have to deal with again. You never wanted your past to inflict on the people in your life, it wasn't their fault after all, so why should they suffer. Resentment builds over something that was legally "Dead" and emotionally "Buried". Why the exhumation?
  • Some were still struggling to come to terms with things, they were dealing with it, starting to cope, but still a little shaky on their feet so stayed away from life, excluded themselves from society. Somebody comes along and offers you the chance for answers and you grab for it with both hands... and they pull back, teasing. You reach again and again they move. Just slightly. They dangle a chance of Justice to 'up the ante' so you plunge headlong into police interviews and months of bad dreams. You start to come out the other end and you can see the prize, glittering, you reach, you can almost .....nearly.... and you miss.
  • Some had wallowed in the very depths of it all and never moved beyond the nightmare. They lashed out at all turns, hated, condemned and blamed society. Somebody comes along and lets you pour your heart out, unburden your soul and vent your anger somewhat. You think Ok, this may be just what I need, so you do what they ask. You sit patiently and wait. They promise help and you wait some more. Eventually, you ask where this help is.... to be told, it's at the end of the court case, in 3-5 years time. You go away and you sit and dwell and eventually, hopefully, somebody else notices you aren't coping and you are given counselling. At the start of the "theraputic" session, you are then told you cannot speak about the real issue, because it is still subject to investigation and the more you repeat the events, the more embellished the tale is liable to become. You can speak about your anger over that issue, but no case-related facts.

Support -
I hope most are getting the support they need. I know, however, they are not. Some are left to cope on their own. Some don't feel able to speak out. Others are still too scared. A few have access to support, but they then hit another obstacle.
Counsellors are telling them they can't speak freely about the abuse they suffered. When you are venting frustrations, anger, the last thing you need, want or expect is somebody interrupting you to say "Sorry, we can't discuss that because it's under investigation."
That helps NOBODY.

Victim Support have been fantastic with me, I must admit. I have phone sessions once a week and the woman I speak with is fantastic. She lets me say whatever I need to get off my chest at that point. She made me a promise the first day that she will never breathe a word I say to her, it's taken me a while to build up the trust but it's getting there and I now believe her.
Victim Support will take on any victim via self referral. All you need is the crime number.

Justice -
For there to be Justice, there has to be charges made.
19 arrests so far under Operation Pallial has resulted in 1 previously convicted paedophile being taken to court. 
Yes, I understand 250 statements is a lot to trawl through. It's a lot of people to contact and a logistical nightmare I'm sure.  But it's not rocket science!
Pretty much anyone is capable of entering search terms into a document and pulling out information. 
Better still, go old school... use a whiteboard.

Here's one we made earlier. 

Or even better still!! Maybe have a couple of Officers read the original Waterhouse inquiry report. Have them look at the absent names from the report.  Look for all the irregularities. Check the business dealings of the private companies. Check the accounts for the Council run establishments. Have a bookkeeper do it! 
I think you will find most of the statements sitting on desks will start to fill in the blanks and go some way to explaining why some questions were never asked.
That is the only way we will see any kind of Justice

Long Term -
Over time, we have reforged lost friendships and made new ones as we have been forced to seek out those that Know what went on in Wales. Survivor groups are full of people needing the solidarity offered in numbers, yet strangely quiet as the members wait for the next arrest with no charges.
  • Yes, eventually some will get some form of closure. They will make peace with one or two of their demons and the world won't seem quite as shitty.
  • Some will finally be able to move on. Have a life. 
  • Others may be destroyed. Life ruined. Pain they had once thought gone, dredged back to the surface. A festering scum that taints everything it touches. 
Worth it? not by a long shot. We lost our childhoods to these criminals. Now the Gov. has taken away part of our adulthoods in the names of these Paedophiles. How much more do we have to sacrifice before somebody will actually do something about the endemic paedophilia problem in the UK?

P.I.E, The History.

In response to a comment on the Harman article, here is a recap on info known about P.I.E.

PIE was set up as a special interest group within the Scottish Minorities Group by founder member Michael Hanson, who became the group's first Chairman.
Since the majority of enquiries were from England, PIE relocated to London in 1975 where 23-year old Keith Hose became its new Chairperson.
Paedophile Action for Liberation had developed as a breakaway group from South London Gay Liberation Front. It was the subject of an article in the Sunday People, which dedicated its front page and centre-spread to the story. The result was intimidation of, and loss of employment for, some of those who were exposed. It later merged with PIE.[1]
This exposé on PAL had a chilling effect on PIE members' willingness for activism. In the PIE Chairperson's Annual Report for 1975-6, Keith Hose wrote that 'The only way for PIE to survive, was to seek out as much publicity for the organization as possible.... If we got bad publicity we would not run into a corner but stand and fight. We felt that the only way to get more paedophiles joining PIE... was to seek out and try to get all kinds of publications to print our organization's name and address and to make paedophilia a real public issue.'
A campaign to attract media attention was not effective at that time, but Hose's attendance at the 1975 annual conference of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) in Sheffield, where he made a speech on paedophilia, was covered at length in The Guardian.
In the same year Hose also attended a conference organized by Mind, the national mental health organization, where it was suggested that PIE should submit evidence to the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee on the age of consent. PIE submitted a 17-page document in which it proposed that there should be no age of consent, and that the criminal law should concern itself only with sexual activities to which consent is not given, or which continue after prohibition by a civil court.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

The end of innocence: Inside Britain's child prisons - Crime - UK

The Independent

The car turns into the driveway of the large Edwardian house, but it ignores the front door and sweeps on to the low, new brick-built extension at the side of the house. The windows there are of reflective glass. Outsiders can’t see in. But the occupants can see out.
As the car approaches, a shutter at the side of the building rises. After the car has entered, it falls. In the control room, where staff survey two banks of close-circuit TV screens – from 16 external and 16 internal cameras – the staff press the button to close the shutter. Only when it has clanged back into place are the car doors opened. Two men get out of the back. So does the small boy who has been sitting between them.
This is not one of the two boys from Edlington, near Doncaster, who will be sentenced this week for a sadistically violent attack committed when they were aged just 10 and 11 on two other boys of similar age. But it is a boy who has committed a crime like that. Only a minority of such cases come to public attention.
The child is one of the 150 children in Britain today who are so violent, sometimes at an age as young as 10, that they have to be locked up. The building is one of 10 secure children’s homes throughout England – with innocuous names like Red Bank, Vinney Green, Barton Moss, East Moor, Hillside and Clayfield – which keep them under lock and key, for the protection of the public and, in many cases, for the good of the children themselves.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Police Memorandum; Operation Rose

Submitted by Chris Machell, Detective Chief Superintendent, Northumbria Police (CA 188)
  Operation Rose, an enquiry conducted by Northumbria Police into allegations of Historic Sexual and Physical Child Abuse within care homes throughout the North East of England, began in 1997.
  The investigation commenced after a woman in her twenties disclosed to a Social Worker, that she and a friend had both been subjected to Sexual and Physical abuse whilst they were residents in a Newcastle upon Tyne care home.
  After a multi-agency meeting between Police, Newcastle Social Services and the NSPCC, officers set out to fully investigate the claims. Initial enquiries revealed that six victims were alleging abuse by eight suspects who had been employed in a total of seven Care Homes within four Local Authority areas. Some of these allegations dated back to the 1960s. The investigation rapidly expanded to 10 victims and 20 Children's Homes.
  Following best practice established in other areas, Northumbria Police established that the only manageable way of developing the enquiry would be to seek information from a fixed proportion of residents in each of the Care Homes.
  Without revealing the nature of their investigations, the enquiry team wrote to 10 per cent of former residents, informing them that an enquiry had commenced into a Home at which they were once resident, and asking them if they had any information which might help. One third of the recipients replied either saying they had information or stating that they did not wish the police to contact them.