Police Report into child abuse at Staffordshire Childrens Homes

rebecca hemsley made this Freedom of Information request to Staffordshire Police

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Staffordshire Police,

In 1990 Staffordshire Police were asked by the Home Office to have an Inquiry into child abuse at childrens homes. They conducted a 5 month Inquiry and then submitted a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Please could you send me an electronic copy of that report

Yours faithfully,

rebecca hemsley

Staffordshire Police

Thank you for your FOI request. You will receive a response in due course.

Regards
Terri Mercer
Communications Assistant
Staffordshire Police

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Staffordshire Police

Dear M/s Hemsley,

  Thank you for your FoI request as below which has been passed to myself
to research. Could I ask you if you have a particular investigation in
mind as your request is unclear. Your request makes reference to a report
for an investigation but gives no other details other than in was in 1990
for 5 months. Investigations from 23 years ago  usually went by an
operational name which is how they are archived. Is the investigation you
had in mind Operation Pindown.

If Pindown is the enquiry you are interested in it appears that this
investigation came about following a 'World in Action' documentary by
Granada television transmitted on Monday 25.06.1990.  During the
transmission a number of people spoke openly about their experiences
whilst living in local care homes.  There were also discussions on local
and national radio at the time for example BBC R4 on 04.10.1990. It was
clear following the World In Action programme being aired that an
investigation was needed.  

Your FoI request

'In 1990 Staffordshire Police were asked by the Home Office to have an
Inquiry into child abuse at children's homes. They conducted a 5 month
Inquiry and then submitted a report to the Director of Public
Prosecutions.
Please could you send me an electronic copy of that report'

I have been unable to locate a copy of the DPP's report for Operation
Pindown and I am confident that there was never an electronic version.
From other material in 1999 I can say there is mention of Pindown in the
following action raised in that enquiry:

'CPS contacted re original Pindown Enquiry. They do not have any records
from 1990. Det Sgt Noden (now deceased) contacted. message left for him re
the outcome of Pindown' The action concludes 'Spoke with Det Sgt Noden on
21.06.1999, he states that an advice file was sent to the DPP in London
and the recommendation came back no further action on any of the charges'

There is a further report dated 13.04.2006 when a review of remaining
material from the Pindown enquiry took place which says:

 'I have completed extensive research of documentation still in my
possession ( statements) relating to the Pindown enquiry and can say that
the following social services staff were subjects of reports submitted to
the CPS as a result of which a decision to take no further action on all
cases was reached' -the report contains 29 names -' Unfortunately the
documents do not specify where the alleged offences were committed only
that they were relating to the Pindown method of restraint. I am also
aware that Social Services held an enquiry of their own into Pindown which
I understand was named the Levy/Kahan enquiries'

(The italics are mine)

This is believed to be the enquiry by Mr Allan Levy QC Staffordshire Child
Care Enquiry which is not held by Staffordshire Police

Could you confirm that 'Pindown' is in fact the subject of your FOI
request. I will pend your FOI enquiry until I receive confirmation that
Pindown is the subject of this FoI although at this moment I believe we do
not hold the information you request if it relates to Pindown.

 Yours sincerely

Bernard Pearce
MID Policy & Review
Direct Dial 01785 218646
[mobile number]
[email address]

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Dear Bernard Staffordshire Police,

Thank you for the useful information so far.
I am aware of the Levy Kahan Pindown Report.

It would appear that it may be what you call operation Pindown. I enclose a link to a newspaper article.
http://spotlightonabuse.files.wordpress....
If it is the operation Pindown, is it possible to scan it and send it.
I am intrigued by the action, and the report in 2006 you mention, but do not quite understand them (and the italics do not come out on the email).
Can you just explain what you mean by an "action" and "report", I suspect they have specialist police definitions?
Is a catalogue or index available for the hardcopies kept of any material and how is the electronic material catalogued?

Yours faithfully,

Rebecca Hemsley

Staffordshire Police

1 Attachment

Dear M/s Hemsley,

 thank you for your quick response. From what I can gather from research
it appears that the newspaper article you have sent does refer to what
Staffordshire Police called Operation Pindown. During 1999 material from
the Pindown enquiry was revisited and reviewed following allegations of
physical and sexual abuse that led to a Staffordshire Police enquiry
called Operation Thor. Please see the web link below;

[1]http://www.uttoxeter-news.co.uk/News/Chi...

 Since my last email to you I have conducted more research into Operation
Thor material. It appears that during the 1990 Pindown enquiry not all the
material was typed onto the HOLMES computer system. However during 1999
for the purpose of the Operation Thor investigation there was some back
record conversion of relevant Operation Pindown material. There was no
scanning of documents in 1999 so if a copy of the Operation Pindown report
to the DPP still exists it may have been subsumed into Operation Thor as a
physical document that was neither typed nor scanned. I have today asked
for Operation Thor material to be recovered from our archive which is from
a main supplier with storage outside our Force area which may take several
days and put the final response outside the normal 20 working days. If the
material exists and I am able to examine it I will then be in a position
to identify if the material is exempt under FoI Act 2000

With regard to my earlier email the word in italics was the word
(statements) shown in brackets to indicate that what was being referred to
were witness statements not the DPP report in question. An 'action' refers
to a task that is raised to be completed by a police officer or police
staff member 'actions' are put into different priorities from routine to
high priority and linked to different categories for example victim,
scene, forensics, financial etc

There has been an earlier FoI request re Operation Thor which I have
included in an attachment which may be of interest to you

Yours sincerely

Bernard Pearce
MID Policy & Review
Direct Dial 01785 218646
[mobile number]
[email address]

From:        rebecca hemsley <[FOI #194618 email]>
To:        bernard[email address],
Date:        07/02/2014 22:19
Subject:        Re: Fao Rebecca Hemsley FOI Staffordshire Police

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Bernard Staffordshire Police,

Thank you for the useful information so far.
I am aware of the Levy Kahan Pindown Report.

It would appear that it may be what you call operation Pindown. I enclose
a link to a newspaper article.
[2]http://spotlightonabuse.files.wordpress....
If it is the operation Pindown, is it possible to scan it and send it.
I am intrigued by the action, and the report in 2006 you mention, but do
not quite understand them (and the italics do not come out on the email).
Can you just explain what you mean by an "action" and "report", I suspect
they have specialist police definitions?
Is a catalogue or index available for the hardcopies kept of any material
and how is the electronic material catalogued?

Yours faithfully,

Rebecca Hemsley

show quoted sections

Dear Bernard Staffordshire Police,

thank you for the excellent research so far. Theinformation you have given me is very useful and I will await your further reply

Yours faithfully,

rebecca hemsley

Staffordshire Police

1 Attachment

Dear M/s Hemsley,

 material has been recovered from archive which  does not amount to a full
file regarding Operation Pindown. The full file that was submitted to the
CPS in 1990/91 no longer exists in that format. As stated in an earlier
email the material would have consisted of witness statements which have
been subsumed into the Operation Thor enquiry. The statements from
Operation Pindown were revisited and considered for their evidential value
in the light of allegations being investigated by the Operation Thor team.

The only material that remains relating to the CPS decision to take no
further action are several faded photocopies of letters to interested
parties to inform them of no further action. The CPS letter is a seven
line letter dated 15th February 1991 addressed to the then Chief Constable
signed by the then Chief Crown Prosecutor for Staffordshire and
Warwickshire  which says that no further action is being taken there is no
explanation of how that decision has been reached. Before releasing this
letter I would have to make contact with the CPS to seek their views
regarding exemptions under FOI. I believe that exemptions would apply to
the CPS letter itself.

 However I am in possession of a copy letter from the then Chief Constable
Mr Charles Kelly which appears to be dated 25th February 1991. This letter
is in a different class of material under FOI than the CPS letter and I am
able to release it to you unredacted.

Please let me know whether this letter meets your needs.

Yours  faithfully

Bernard Pearce
MID Policy & Review
Direct Dial 01785 218646
[mobile number]
[email address]

From:        rebecca hemsley <[FOI #194618 email]>
To:        bernard[email address],
Date:        15/02/2014 15:47
Subject:        Re: Fao Rebecca Hemsley FOI Staffordshire Police

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Bernard Staffordshire Police,

thank you for the excellent research so far. Theinformation you have given
me is very useful and I will await your further reply

Yours faithfully,

rebecca hemsley

show quoted sections

rebecca hemsley

Dear Bernard Staffordshire Police,

Thank you for the letter released so far. It was very useful. I therefore would appreciate it if you could liaise with the CPS to release the other letter, redacted if necessary

Yours faithfully,

rebecca hemsley

Staffordshire Police

2 Attachments

Dear Ms. Hemsley,

Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information request.
 I apologise for the delay in responding.

Regards

Julie Ferrie
Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications
Staffordshire Police
Direct Dial: 01785 232411

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Dear Julie Staffordshire Police,
Thank you for reply and apologies for not getting back to you earlier. You happear to have sent a duplicate of a previous leter rather than the report that i was requesting from 2006 that Bernard Pearce in his reply of 10 Febreferred to
"There is a further report dated 13.04.2006 when a review of remaining
material from the Pindown enquiry took place which says:

Is it possible to have a copy of all the information on this report

Yours faithfully,

rebecca hemsley

Staffordshire Police

1 Attachment

Dear M/s Hemsley,

 your request for further information has been forwarded to myself to
research. In your latest communication you make specific mention of a
report dated 13.04.2006  which was referred to in an earlier response. As
I understand it it is the report dated 13.04.2006 that is the subject of
your latest request for information. Your original request for information
included information about a decision not to bring proceedings against  
persons investigated during  Operation PINDOWN. I believe that this
request has been answered. Operation PINDOWN was a 1990 enquiry into
allegations of physical abuse and restraint methods at local authority
homes in Staffordshire. The material generated during Operation PINDOWN
was revisited and incorporated into the 1999 Operation THOR to allow cross
checking for victims and perpetrators common to both enquiries.

 Report R34R was a report generated by a member of the Operation THOR team
in response to a request for information from solicitors representing
Staffordshire County Council The solicitors were dealing with complaints
from residents of a particular local authority home called Heron Cross
House. R34R gives the names and investigation outcomes of alleged
perpetrators subject of police enquiries.

I have attached a copy of the report R34R dated 13.04.2006 which exists
only in electronic format. The report has been redacted to remove the
names of individuals mentioned in the report.

Yours sincerely

Bernard Pearce
Review Team
Internal Ext 3640
External Dial: 01785 233640
[mobile number]
[email address]

Staffordshire Police

1 Attachment

Dear M/s Hemsley,

 your request for further information has been forwarded to myself to
research. In your latest communication you make specific mention of a
report dated 13.04.2006  which was referred to in an earlier response. As
I understand it it is the report dated 13.04.2006 that is the subject of
your latest request for information. Your original request for information
included information about a decision not to bring proceedings against  
persons investigated during  Operation PINDOWN. I believe that this
request has been answered. Operation PINDOWN was a 1990 enquiry into
allegations of physical abuse and restraint methods at local authority
homes in Staffordshire. The material generated during Operation PINDOWN
was revisited and incorporated into the 1999 Operation THOR to allow cross
checking for victims and perpetrators common to both enquiries.

 Report R34R was a report generated by a member of the Operation THOR team
in response to a request for information from solicitors representing
Staffordshire County Council The solicitors were dealing with complaints
from residents of a particular local authority home called Heron Cross
House. R34R gives the names and investigation outcomes of alleged
perpetrators subject of police enquiries.

I have attached a copy of the report R34R dated 13.04.2006 which exists
only in electronic format. The report has been redacted to remove the
names of individuals mentioned in the report.

Yours sincerely

Bernard Pearce
Review Team
Internal Ext 3640
External Dial: 01785 233640
[mobile number]
[email address]

Dear Staffordshire Police,

Many thanks for the efforts in research and for the documents

Yours faithfully,

Rebecca Hemsley

Barbara Richards left an annotation ()

I've got several questions about this.
1) Do Stafford Police have a duty of care to inform other victims of people who have already been imprisoned for child abuse in relation to the Pindown child abuse that they have been imprisoned?
2) Is it acceptable for a victim of institutional child abuse to be denied appropriate aftercare services, even obstructed from using self referring services, and following being sectioned to a psychiatric hospital to have no appropriate aftercare and a recommendation that should that person need mental health care in the future that Stafford Police should be the ones to provide it rather than a properly supervised mental health expert?
3) On page 186 of the Pindown Report John Allen on NALGO is listed as one of the people to give oral evidence. Yesterday I learned from the media that John Allen has just been jailed for life for abusing children.
4) On page 191 of the Pindown Report Dr Lowenstein psychologist is listed as someone who gave written submission. Is this written submission available for people and particularly victims of the abuse to read and if not why not? Dr Ludwig Lowenstein was investigated by Hampshire county council and was discovered to have been knowingly employing paedophiles at his children's home Allington Manor in Hampshire
5) How can victims of the Pindown abuse find out who the men were who were convicted of crimes against children in care in 1989 on page 139?

Barbara Richards