The Historical Abuse Database

Proof it did exist, from The Guardian, September 2000.

Seventy-five investigations into serial abuse of children at care homes, with allegations in many dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, are being pursued in England and Wales, police revealed yesterday.  A confidential list of suspected offenders has linked 36 people to abuse in more than one area of the country, suggesting paedophile rings operated undetected for decades.

More than 370 men and women are being investigated for a range of serious sexual abuses, and officers have compiled 1,700 names of suspected paedophiles for future inquiries.

The details were released yesterday by Chief Superintendent Ian Johnston of Gwent police, which has been instrumental in setting up the national historical abuse database. This was launched last October to help forces coordinate paedophile investigations and follow Gwent’s exhaustive inquiry into the abuse of children at the Ty Mawr children’s home near Abergavenny in west Wales.

By chance, officers found out that some of the people they were investigating were also being investigated by other forces, but there was no central list to which detectives could refer. Twenty-nine forces have so far contributed details of potential offenders to the new database in an effort to pool information.

Speaking at the Police Superintendents’ Association’s annual conference, Mr Johnston said most of the alleged offenders were teachers and some were still working in schools and care homes.

He said it was essential for forces to work together because of the difficulties of investigating allegations that went back many years. “We won’t go ahead with a prosecution unless we have allegations from six victims. Getting convictions is difficult because in cases like these it is often easy to discredit victims.

“A number of the offenders are still in the childcare arena. Some of the offences are horrendous. Some of the victims were children who were in detention centres and borstals, but not all by any means.”

Mr Johnston urged the forces who had not contributed information to the database to do so as soon as possible.

“It is important to collect all these names. The majority of people we have looked at do not have criminal records. They are apparently respectable members of the community. They do not change their names when they move on because they are confident they will never be caught.”

The Guardian 14/09/00

Gwent Constabulary has set up a database known as the Historical Abuse Database. The aims of the database are:

a) to create a central collation point of information;

b) to hold details of all persons who are or have been subject to police inquiries into complex abuse.

(This will not include victim details.) Details are stored under three headings:

– nominal details

– full name, maiden or alias names, date of birth, placeof birth, Criminal Records Office Number and Police National

Computer Identification and gender

– last known address

– house name and number, street, town and postcode;

– force name, operation name, name of Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), contact address and telephone number.

c)to hold details of all current similar operations throughout the United Kingdom;

d) to provide the link between forces engaged in such inquiries.

For an entry to be made to the database, completed registration forms must be sent by post to the Operation Flight office at Abergavenny Police Station, Gwent, where details will be entered by dedicated staff. To facilitate the supply of data for entry onto the database, forces (Heads of CID) have been supplied with a floppy disk containing aregistration template (Appendix G). Where a match occurs on previously held information, the SIO in the case will be informed in writing and details of other forces given. It is a matter for the professional judgement of each SIO to decide who is entered on the database.

Section 5.18, p.21, undated


Filed under Abuse

8 responses to “The Historical Abuse Database

  1. Sweetcheeks

    Also reblogged this onto David Icke’s ‘Jimmy Savile OUTED as a PAEDO OCT 3rd’ thread.
    Thank you

  2. Reblogged this on Tell About Abuse and commented:
    Ty Mawr children’s home near Abergavenny in west Wales.

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  4. Claire

    For anyone who does not know, Chief Superintendent Ian Johnston of Gwent Police, who was instrumental in the setting up of the database, is now the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent.

    “The Commissioner is responsible for representing the people of Gwent and making sure the service provided by the police is efficient and effective.”

    So shall we ask him then, in his new supervisory role, how and why nobody in Gwent Police, remembers the database or its whereabouts, that he himself released some of the details of?

    • sxjack

      Thanks Claire. Was this database named Operation Flight? I assume it was from the Guardian article.
      I was just putting together some questions for Gwent Police FoI.
      This is welcome news that ex Ch Supt Johnston has been appointed as the Commissioner to reperesent the people of Gwent from 2012. He certainly should know about the database. I’m sure he’ll be able to answer your queries.

      His CV on the Commissioner’s website notes that he was head of CID until 1999, during which time (1999) the database was started at Abergavenny Police Station.
      This is his LinkedIn page, he was a police officer until 2010.
      I imagine he would have kept his finger on the pulse of this Gwent Police initiative that sought to gather intelligence countrywide. It was certainly of enough importance to attract national publicity in the Guardian, 14 September 2000 following his statement to the Police Supts’ Association conference.

      • opgreenlight

        Hello sxjack, Operation Flight was the codename given to a Gwent Police inquiry into abuse at children’s homes, in particular Ty Mawr. The database itself was called the Historical Abuse Database, or HAB, we think.

  5. This could be a groundbreaking method of tracking predators, but if it’s a matter of professional judgement of the individual SIO to determine who is entered into the database, it may be back to square one. The greatest challenge to enforcing laws against CSA has not been lack of laws but lack of consistent enforcement, often based on the perpetrator’s level of connections in law enforcement. Are there some solid and enforceable guidelines for the SIO to follow? If not, the SIO’s failures to enforce consistency of entries to the database must be closely monitored by the public, and SIO’s held to account for their judgement. If there is a method of accountability in this, it could make a serious impact, not only on number of repeat offenses against children, but against corruption of enforcement against offenders by complicit police departments.

  6. Pingback: The Historical Abuse Database | justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis