Thursday, 6 February 2014

Over 230 new calls to Medomsley detectives


MORE than 200 potential new victims have contacted police investigating abuse at the former Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett following widespread media publicity at the start of last week.

In August last year Durham Constabulary announced it was opening a new investigation into allegations that inmates at the Home Office-run centre were either sexually or physically abused during their time at Medomsley, between the late 1960’s and the mid-1980’s.

An earlier investigation led to a former catering officer at the centre, Neville Husband being jailed in 2003 for abusing a number of young men over a period of time. He died in 2010, following his release from prison.

Up to last Monday, 27th January police had spoken to 143 people, the vast majority of whom were victims who had not previously come forward. The total also included a small number of possible witnesses or callers who had information which might help the police enquiries.

Widespread media coverage of the investigation, including a special report on BBC1’s ‘Inside Out’ programme has since prompted a further 232 calls to police, bringing the total to 375.

All those who have rung over the last ten days will be seen by an officer over the coming weeks and steered towards the appropriate support and counselling.
“Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before,” said Det Supt Paul GOUNDRY, the senior investigating officer.

“The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us. That suggests these victims have a level of confidence in us and feel we can help and support them.

“As our enquiries continue we are constantly learning, not only from the victims but all the agencies we are working alongside such as the NSPCC and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre at The Meadows. I think at the end of this investigation we will have some very important learning points to take on board, not just for ourselves but for the police nationally.”