Operation Seabrook - Medomsley Detention Centre
‘Operation Seabrook’ is the criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by staff against detainees at Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett, County Durham.
It was launched in August 2013 and is investigating incidents which happened over many years, principally the 1970's and 1980's.
The three main aims of the investigation are:
* to ensure support is provided for victims so they are in a better place after contacting the police
* to gain the fullest understanding of how Medomsley operated during those years
* to secure evidence so that any potential offenders are brought to justice.
Anyone needing to make contact with the team in writing can email firstname.lastname@example.org
The 'Seabrook' team has now heard from more than 1,350 former inmates at Medomsley who have reported they were abused while detained at the centre.
All of the surviving main suspects - 31 in total - have been identified, interviewed and prosecution files submitted to the CPS for advice. This advice will then identify those individuals who are likely to be charged and also which victims or witnesses are likely to give evidence.
Update on the current state of the investigation; June 2017
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Beddow, Chair of Seabrook Gold Group: “I am pleased to share with you that the main phase of identification showings has now been completed, with over one hundred witnesses having been seen at various locations throughout the United Kingdom.
“We are now in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service around the next phase of identifications. We appreciate that the procedures have not been easy for those witnesses who have taken part in the identification process, in part due to the very nature of the procedure and also for the upset that viewing the images can cause. The identification of suspects has been a very important part of the investigation.
“The reviewing of Third Party material required for court is near completion for this phase of the investigation, ready for Crown Prosecution Service charging advice.
“The Crown Prosecution Service continues to work closely with the Seabrook team with the aim that timely and justified charging decisions will be made in the near future. It is important that the Crown Prosecution Service are satisfied that there will be a realistic chance of conviction before they make charging decisions and therefore the investigation has to be thorough.
“Although, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman has been promoted and left the organisation he has been replaced by Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green who has experience of very large multi-defendant investigations and presentation of cases at Crown Court.
“I must reiterate that the commitment and focus of the dedicated Seabrook Team remains intact. I want to reassure you that you the victim/survivors of the investigation remain at the heart of everything we do.”
Sergeant Claire Errington remains as the supervisor for the dedicated Seabrook team. Within the team are co-ordinators who are at hand to help and assist with any issues or concerns peple may have.
Important - If you are a victim and your contact details have changed, for example, you have moved house or have a new phone number then please email the Seabrook team or call them via 101 so they can update their records.
Durham Constabulary continues to work with various organisations to provide the best possible support for victims. Access to support is available without the need to contact the police for those who feel unable to do so.
The following organisations can be contacted independently of the police for support .
NSPCC FREEPHONE HELPLINE (24 hrs):
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children 0808 800 5000
The helpline is available for anyone who has concerns about a child or anyone including adults who wish to discuss their own experience of abuse as a child or young person.
Contact can also be made via e mail : email@example.com or by text 88858
Contact can be made anonymously if the caller so wishes.
National Association for People Abused in ChildhoodFreephone from all landlines and mobile networks 0808 801 0331.
Calls do not show on your bill; lines are open 10am to 9pm Monday - Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday. NAPAC is unable to take messages or ring back.
The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Darlington and Co Durham) 0191 301 8554
The Meadows will accept calls between the hours of 9am-3.30 pm Monday to Friday and can arrange one-to-one counselling sessions and can make referrals to similar centres throughout the UK.
Counselling does not involve discussing what has happened in relation to the assault, it aims to help you work through your feelings to aid the healing process.
Staff at the Meadows will not contact the police without your consent unless there are current concerns in respect of a child or vulnerable adult.