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FIGURES REVEAL EXTENT OF CARE HOME ABUSE

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More than 150 former care workers have been arrested, charged or convicted in ongoing child abuse inquiries, accord...
More than 150 former care workers have been arrested, charged or convicted in ongoing child abuse inquiries, according to police figures.

The Independent (p11) reports that allegations against at least 40 others are still being investigated and more than 35 have been jailed for a total of in excess of 300 years.

Inquiries involve more than 140 homes that cared for children, mainly in the 1970s and 1980s. The scale of the investigations and the number of homes involved will add weight to suspicions that paedophiles infiltrated the care system.

In the north-west alone, allegations of abuse have been made against more than 200 people in separate investigations. Most of the alleged abusers are former care workers and others once employed in residential units.

In Merseyside, Operation Care, one of the biggest inquiries in the country, has resulted in 19 people being jailed for a total of 126 years. A further eight have been charged and 26 are on police bail. Detectives have just begun inquiries at their 79th children's home.

In Cheshire, police have begun two operations - Osmosis and Ozone - and are investigating allegations against 32 people. In four other operations 13 men were jailed for a total of 110 years, and another dozen were arrested and charged at some time during the inquiry.

In Cardiff, Operation Goldfinch, an inquiry into allegations of abuse at more than 50 homes, has led to 13 people being charged and two jailed. In the parallel Taff Vale inquiry, two former care workers were last week jailed for a total of 27 years.

The ongoing investigations come in the wake of major inquiries in north Wales and Leicestershire, which resulted in former care workers being charged or convicted.

The North Wales Abuse Tribunal is due to report soon and is expected to make recommendations on the vetting and training of care staff.

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