62-year-old man arrested over historic 'abuse' at North Wales care home


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The Independent Online

Detectives investigating claims of child abuse at North Wales care homes have arrested a 62-year-old man on suspicion of crimes against three boys and a girl.

The man, who is from Mold in North Wales and is the 15th person to be arrested as part of the inquiry, was held over accusations of buggery, indecent assault and child cruelty.

It is alleged that the offences took place between 1973 and 1976, when the victims were aged between 10 and 15.

The latest arrest was made as part of Operation Pallial, an investigation being led by the National Crime Agency into recent allegations of historical abuse linked to the homes.

Earlier this month the NCA revealed that they have been given the names or partial names of around 100 potential abusers.

Investigators said that in the year since their inquiry started, they have been contacted by 235 alleged victims, with more than 100 of those having come forward since a public report on the probe was published in April.

Of the possible 100 abusers identified, 24 are thought to have died, but the team said they will still investigate claims.

So far one person has been charged with serious sexual offences as part of Pallial.

The investigation was set up to re-examine claims of sex crimes and to look again at the original police investigations into abuse at care homes in North Wales.

In 2000, the Waterhouse Inquiry was established to study claims linked to homes in the former council areas of Gwynedd and Clwyd since 1974, and following the investigation eight people were prosecuted, seven of whom were convicted.

However in July, a damning report which revealed "extensive" child abuse in North Wales care homes was finally published - 17 years after it claimed police officers and other professionals could have been identified as potential "perpetrators of assaults".

The Jillings Report, which focused on allegations of abuse in the council care system during the 1970s and 1980s, was compiled in 1996 but its publication was blocked by the former Clwyd County Council because insurers feared compensation claims.

A heavily-redacted version of the report was published online in the wake of the fresh investigations.

The report is highly critical of North Wales Police's role in investigating allegations involving its own officers and also claims other agencies, including the local authority, constrained its investigation by providing "limited information" and, in some cases, refusing to meet the panel.