Inquiry into allegations of abuse urged

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The Independent Online
COUNCILLORS in North Wales have called for an independent police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of children in care.

The call for an inquiry follows a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute a police officer and two former officers accused of involvement in the abuse, writes David Connett.

Clwyd County Council, which runs some of the children's homes where abuse allegedly took place, said the lack of independent supervision, or the involvement of an outside force in the investigation by North Wales Police into serving or retired officers from the same force had resulted in a lack of public confidence.

A spokesman for the county council said yesterday that councillors 'were concerned that the truth should be established and that justice should not only be done but also be seen to be done by and for all concerned'.

The council refused to comment on individual cases but a spokesman said it was difficult to see how public confidence could be achieved when North Wales Police 'investigated its own former officers' conduct without any outside or independent supervision or involvement'.

'The public should have the maximum possible confidence in the way in which the investigation has been carried out and that by its results be assured the future care of children by Clwyd is the best achievable. There has been so much publicity about this investigation and so many questions raised that the simple answer of 'no further action' cannot be sufficient for public confidence,' a council statement said.

However, North Wales Police have rejected the criticism.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute one serving police officer and two former officers after allegations of sexual abuse were made against them by former residents of homes.

The CPS said there was a lack of evidence against them.