Theresa May calls extent of paedophile activity across Britain 'absolutely horrific'

 

The extent of paedophile activity across Britain is “absolutely horrific”, the Home Secretary told MPs as she set out fresh details of investigations into sex abuse in North Wales care homes and into Jimmy Savile’s activities.

No fewer than nine inquiries are underway following a stream of allegations against the late TV presenter and new accusations that a previous probe into the care home scandal failed to uncover the full truth, including the alleged involvement of a senior Tory linked to the Thatcher government.

In a statement to the Commons, Ms May refused to commit herself to a full, wide-ranging public inquiry into the array of claims about child abuse. MPs of all parties now support the move – and in angry exchanges a Labour frontbencher accused her of being part of a “cover-up” designed to stop the truth emerging.

Ms May urged the police to follow evidence of paedophile activity “without fear or favour” and insisted that no area should be “off-limits” to detectives investigating sex abuse.

She referred to the recent scandal of the abuse of teenage girls in Rochdale, as well as paedophiles preying on youngsters online, as she made clear the problem was as prevalent today as in the 1970s and 1980s.

She said: “We now see the online grooming of children, the street grooming of children, a number of variations of child abuse.

“I think what is absolutely horrific, frankly, is the extent to which this child abuse has been taking place over the years and across our communities over the years.”

Ms May announced that Keith Bristow, the head of the new National Crime Agency, would investigate new allegations of abuse in children’s homes in North Wales between 1974 and 1990 as well as the original police handling of the case.

He has been asked to report by next April.

She also confirmed the Waterhouse Inquiry, which reported in 2000 on the allegations, would be reviewed.

The police watchdog, the HMIC, will examine whether allegations received against Savile by forces across the country were properly examined.

The Labour deputy chairman Tom Watson, who last month claimed there was “clear intelligence” suggesting a historic paedophile ring was linked to Downing Street and a former prime minister, said her “narrowed-down” inquiries would mean “despicable paedophiles” remaining undetected.

To shouts of anger from Tory MPs, he said: “Does she sincerely want to start making amends or can she live with being what she has just announced: the next stage of a cover-up.”

In addition to the three inquiries, a further six have already been announced following the allegations over Savile’s activities.

The BBC is conducting three internal investigations, the Department of Health is examining how Savile gained access to hospitals and the Director of Public Prosecutions is reviewing the decision in 2009 not to prosecute him.

The Metropolitan Police has mounted a criminal inquiry – Operation Yewtree - into abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile and his associates at the BBC and elsewhere.

Steve Messham, one of the North Wales abuse victims who has come forward with new allegations, met David Jones, the Welsh Secretary, to detail his claims.

Mr Messham told Channel 4 News last night that he broke into a flat of one of his abusers to steal photographs of the abuse he endured, but that police failed to act on them.

He said: “I broke in knowing he was away, and I found all these photographs and I handed them to the police - and out of that two people got prosecuted, and one got a caution and that was it.”

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week