I will probably come to regret this but nevermind…
I’m posting this up because Darren Laverty is correct to highlight the role that insurance companies have played in systemic child abuse cover-ups. I’m still not sure if DL has a copy of ‘The Jillings Report’ or a report on ‘The Jillings Report’ which followed it. However, it doesn’t matter too much for the purposes of this piece.
The insidious role of insurance companies in child abuse cover-ups is not confined to North Wales. This will be seen to be a common theme as more comes out. It would appear that whenever councils, or any institution, have been faced with systemic child abuse they have been faced with a rather onerous choice, The council can do the right thing and come clean thus accepting liability, in which case the insurance company, in this case Zurich, could claim that the insurance policy has been rendered null and void, leaving the council to foot the bill for any compensation claims or it can cover-up the child abuse, often allowing abusers to move on and perhaps even offend elsewhere.
It’s obviously not a satisfactory state of affairs and it needs addressing and it is why I support this petition HERE which lobbies the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, for a law which would require adults working with children to report alleged child abuse thus taking such considerations out of any local authority’s decision making process.
Regardless of the presentation the findings of the Jillings panel are clear enough. The overriding theme for me was the issue of the insurers decision to place the council in a corner with no-where to run. The former Clwyd CC solicitors bowed before their insurers and complied with the orders to not publish. The insurers went so far as to request the dismissal of the social services chair Malcolm King, should he fail to keep his mouth shut. Jillings states-
“we are of the opinion that the issues raised by those advising the insurers impinge on the established democratic and constitutional arrangements of England and Wales” –
Pretty damning? Absolutely! He goes on-
“we consider that prior to the inception of this inquiry the independent panel should have been made fully aware of the expectations of the insurers solicitors”
For me that could be translated to- if we’d been told what you want we would have provided it. But because we’ve come this far we’re not turning back. Fair enough. Jillings has a another pop at the insurers in his findings on this area.
“We consider that the insurers should amend their guidance notes so as to include and give prominence to the Children’s Act guidance”-
There’s plenty more damning comments but the drift of what is being said is clear, Jillings has come in for attacks and decided to fuck the insurers off by including their demands in his report. Is it any wonder the insurers felt they needed to keep the report away from the publics inquisitive minds?
On a more personal level I found this to be very interesting and very informative. Jillings quotes a letter dated February 24th 1994. The letter is from the insurers solicitors which refers to-
“two main individuals (two former residents) as the “ringleaders”. It states that they “had given up” and it would be most unfortunate if they were encouraged to start again “because of contact from the inquiry panel”. We are not conversant with any issues surrounding these comments , nor why this term was used”-