I’m really pleased to see this story. This blog has continually raised the issue of ‘alleged’ insurance company’s involvement in child sexual abuse ‘cover-ups’ over the last two years. We recognise that many others have also.
I think this vindicates the objective methodology that The Needle Team have approached this disturbing subject with, that two of the key systemic failures that we had already identified, ie the movement of local authority staff around the country without proper background checks highlighted by Louise Casey at yesterday’s Communities & Local Government Select Committee hearing and the role that insurance companies have played in possible Local Authority cover-ups, have been raised in the last 24 hours.
Though I think it is worth pointing out, that the issue of ‘insurance companies’ will not be restricted to Local Authorities but to other institutions as well and that one of these key systemic failures feeds into the other because it has often been the failure of institutions to pursue alleged abusers for fear of losing insurance cover that has led to abusers leaving employment without any indication that that they are a risk to children.
It is essential that these complex issues are thoroughly investigated by Justice Goddard and the CSA Inquiry
We’ll try to get the recording of this important radio program up here as soon as we can.
A BBC investigation has found evidence that some local authorities in England and Wales may have allowed fear of losing insurance cover to alter their approach to child abuse inquiries.
File on 4 has also been told of cases where insurers attempted to suppress information about abuse allegations.
An ex social services chief called the behaviour of one company “disgusting”.
The Association of British Insurers said the investigation “raised a number of serious matters”.
When Colin Lambert, then leader of Rochdale Council, proposed an investigation last year into a possible cover-up of child abuse in the town, he was shocked by a response from council officers.
Former pupils at the Knowl View special school for boys have alleged they were victims of sexual assaults by Rochdale’s former MP, the late Cyril Smith and others, in the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s.
Mr Lambert says he was told an inquiry could lead to problems with the council’s insurers.
“I can recall a conversation with officers that this could lead to the insurers withdrawing cover,” he says. “Holding an actual open inquiry would expose exactly who did know what – and therefore the council probably would have been liable. And that then opens up the insurers to claims.”