Documents to download

Current Guidelines

A number of non-statutory guidance documents have been published concerning the conduct of police investigations into allegations of historical child sex abuse. In addition, the Department for Education has produced Working Together to Safeguard Children which contains statutory guidance about the duties of organisations with a role in safeguarding children, although this guidance does not make specific reference to the investigation of historical allegations.

Recent Investigations

Operation Yewtree was established in 2012 by the Metropolitan Police, to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse by the radio and TV presenter Jimmy Savile and others. Operation Fairbank, an investigation of allegations of sexual abuse amongst politicians was also launched in 2012. Operation Midland, an investigation of a paedophile ring allegedly operating in the 1970s and 1980s involving a property in Dolphin Square in London, was launched in 2014. Operation Midland was subsequently closed in 2016 with none of the suspects being charged. Other police operations include the investigation into allegations against the former Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, conducted by Wiltshire Police. These operations have been coordinated nationally as part of Operation Hydrant.

Internal investigations by organisations including the Church of England and the BBC have also taken place and, in some cases, allegations have been referred to the police. This includes allegations made against the former Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, who died in 1958.

Goddard Inquiry

In March 2015, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, established a statutory inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, into the handling of investigations into allegations of child sex abuse in the past. The inquiry is chaired by the New Zealand High Court Judge, Dame Lowell Goddard, who was appointed in April 2015.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • Current Affairs Digest: Home Affairs (May 2024)

    In recent years, there has been a fall in levels of trust and confidence in policing. This followed a series of high-profile scandals, some of which involved serious offences committed by serving police officers. This briefing explores the role of media coverage in changing public perceptions of policing and also reports on calls by various parties to improve the current levels of confidence.

    Current Affairs Digest: Home Affairs (May 2024)
  • Smoke-free legislation: The UK and New Zealand

    During the 2023–24 session, the UK government introduced legislation to raise the age each year at which someone can legally buy tobacco products. This was similar to measures introduced in New Zealand which were recently reversed. This briefing looks at developments in New Zealand and how they have informed the debate on the UK government’s proposals.

    Smoke-free legislation: The UK and New Zealand