Chief Constable asks National Crime Agency to continue
independent investigation into historic child abuse
Mark Polin, the Chief Constable of North Wales Police, has asked
the Director General of the National Crime Agency to continue an
independent investigation into recent allegations of historic child
abuse, called Operation Pallial.
The request follows initial enquiries by the Operation Pallial
team and publication of a report today, which shows that 140
allegations of historic child abuse in North Wales have been
recorded since concerns were broadcast in November 2012.
Operation Pallial has so far identified 76 new complainants
making allegations of historic abuse, which occurred across 18 care
homes in North Wales. Offences against boys and girls aged between
seven and 19 years old are believed to have taken place between
1963 and 1992.
A total of 84 individuals, (75 male and nine female), have been
named by complainants as being responsible for offences. Of these,
16 individuals have been named by more than one complainant. It is
believed that ten of these 16 may be deceased.
Announcing his decision to ask Keith Bristow, Director
General of the National Crime Agency (NCA), to continue an
independent investigation into allegations of historic abuse, North
Wales Chief Constable Mark Polin said:
“I took the decision to ask the Director General of the National
Crime Agency to investigate these allegations last November,
conscious that some victims of historic abuse may not have the
necessary level of confidence in North Wales Police to report
matters directly to us. Operation Pallial provides the necessary
independence and transparency.
“Operation Pallial has now secured accounts from almost all
victims who are willing to support an investigation and it makes
absolute sense for the officers and staff involved to date to be
the core of phase two and to move matters forward as quickly as
professionally possible. The Director General has agreed that the
National Crime Agency will lead this work.
“The Home Office are to meet the additional costs of Operation
Pallial to date, allowing other equally important policing services
to continue to be delivered without impact on our policing budget.
I am in discussion with the Home Secretary regarding funding for
phase two of this complex and large investigation.”
Operation Pallial has been working with local councils, the
Children’s Commissioner for Wales, the Child Exploitation and
Online Protection centre, the NSPCC and other victim support
networks, North Wales Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and an
independent community representative to ensure that victim’s needs
are considered at all stages.
Individual care arrangements have been put in place for many
individuals and support will continue to be provided for as long as
Detective Superintendent Ian Mulcahey of Operation
“Almost everyone that Operation Pallial is aware of has now been
video interviewed by specially trained officers. Many have provided
graphic accounts of abuse, in some cases of very serious
“These are serious allegations that will be thoroughly
investigated. We are prioritising our activities to ensure that any
level of ongoing risk to the public is minimised.”
Operation Pallial will continue to be conducted under the
overall leadership of Keith Bristow, Director General of the
National Crime Agency (NCA).
The NCA investigation is supported by members of the Serious and
Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the Child Exploitation and Online
Protection centre (CEOP) and police officers and staff from forces
Operation Pallial has already been subject to an independent
review to ensure that it is focussed and operating within national
best practice. The review found it to be ‘well managed’ and ‘on
target to reach its objectives’.
There are currently 31 people employed full time on Operation
Pallial, with other individuals providing advice or services as
necessary. The cost for phase one of Operation Pallial, which is
being met by the Home Office, is estimated at £573,058.
Note to Editors: The establishment of the
National Crime Agency is subject to Royal Assent to the Crime and
Issued by North Wales Police Press Office.
Useful contacts for the public:
Operation Pallial Investigation Team
Incident Room: 0800 118 1199
Child Exploitation and Online Protection
Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Freephone: 0808 801 1000 (9am-5pm Mon-Friday
except Bank Holidays)
Text: 80800 starting the message with COM.