Thursday, 31 October 2013

'OpperationSeabrook Makes A Stand.'

Durham Constabulary announced in August 2013 that they are to investigate offences committed against boys at the Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham during the 1970s and 1980s. Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry and Detective Sergeant Wayne Barrigan met with a Medomsley abuse survivor and David Greenwood of Switalskis solicitors on 16th October 2013 to set out his intentions for the investigation after 82 victims of abuse had already contacted Durham police.

Mr Goundry set out his plan to have dedicated and specially trained detectives and support staff working closely with victims to not only take details of abusive experiences but to plan support. He is determined to ensure that his investigation uncovers as much information as possible about abuse at Medomsley.

Mr Goundry realises his main task is to convince former “trainees” at Medomsley to trust that the police will treat them with respect and will take their complaints seriously. He is committed to implementing best practice and to demonstrate that his investigation will set a new high standard for investigations into institutional abuse.

The plans of Durham police come at the same time as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer, announced new guidance for police forces when investigating abuse of children. Mr Starmer said “We are without doubt at a moment of fundamental change in the way we view these offences within the criminal justice system and in our society as a whole.” Police investigations are now to focus on the strengths of the victims evidence rather than perceived weaknesses.

David Greenwood commented: “I am certain that Durham police are serious about getting to the truth of what went wrong at Medomsley and Mr Goundry’s plans for the investigation are impressive. I would urge any former inmates of Medomsley to contact Durham Constabulary by ringing 101. Even the smallest piece of evidence could turn out to be important in bringing offenders to justice.”

David Greenwood
Child Abuse Department 
Tel: 01709 890400