Child abuse inquiry to examine more young offender institutions

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, led by Lady Smith, began hearing evidence in 2017.

Inquiry: Lady Smith.
Inquiry: Lady Smith.

An inquiry into historic child abuse across Scotland has opened up its investigation to ten more establishments, including young offenders institutions.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has covered a range of care providers including religious and voluntary organisations since it began hearing evidence in 2017.

It will now look into the experiences of those who stayed at a number of young offenders institutions and other establishments.

Lady Smith, the inquiry chairwoman, said: “I would ask that anyone who has any relevant information about any of these institutions to please get in touch with the inquiry.

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“We want to hear from you regardless of whether you have already made a report to the police or to anyone else.

“It does not matter whether or not you have been involved in any other investigation. You can still talk to us.”

The young offenders institutions include Glenochil YOI near Stirling, Polmont YOI in Falkirk, Barlinnie YOI in Glasgow and Longriggend Detention Centre, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire.

Other premises being investigated include council-run establishments such as Wellington School in Midlothian, Bellfield Remand Home in West Dunbartonshire and Langlands Park in Inverclyde – which also comes under the inquiry’s remit for the period prior to 1985 when it was run by the Church of Scotland.

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St Philip’s School in Airdrie and Thornly Park School in Renfrewshire will also be subject to the inquiry.

These establishments are in addition to the list of 86 institutions previously announced by the inquiry.

It is currently examining the abuse of children whose departure from Scotland was part of the child migration programmes.

The latest case study began in December 2019 and public hearings resumed on February 25, and will run until late April.

An examination of the abuse of children in boarding schools is expected to start in July.

Lady Smith added: “I know that it can be difficult and very emotional to talk about experiences in care.

“However, we have a highly experienced witness support team and they will help and support you throughout the process.

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“We’ll do all we can to help you feel safe and secure when you speak to us.”


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