Police suspect 1,700 carers of sex abuse

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The Independent Online

The police are running 75 investigations into child abuse at care homes or other institutions, identifying more than 1,700 suspected paedophiles, senior officers were told yesterday.

The police are running 75 investigations into child abuse at care homes or other institutions, identifying more than 1,700 suspected paedophiles, senior officers were told yesterday.

Most of the suspected abusers, many serving and former house-masters, carers and teachers, are "respected members of the community", officers at the Police Super- intendents Association national conference in Newport, Gwent, were told.

The database has been set up to help identify paedophile rings and link sex criminals who have attacked children in different parts of the country. So far, 36 men have been named as suspected serial offenders. In one case a house-master in Bristol who was accused of abusing one of the children in his care introduced the boy to another paedophile teacher when the youngster was transfered to a home in Wales.

The Historical Abuse Database has details of suspects named in 75 inquiries - 22 in the Metropolitan Police area - by 32 forces in England and Wales. Inquiries are being run in North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and South Wales. Most are into care and residental homes in the Seventies, but some date from the Sixties.

Cases range from those involving two or three suspected paedophiles to ones with several hundred suspects.

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