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Wednesday, 01 February 2017

Charity hopeful abuse inquiry's legacy will be greater protection of children

Written by Hilary Duncanson

A charity has voiced hope that the child abuse inquiry will leave a lasting legacy to help protect future generations.

NSPCC Scotland said the public inquiry has an important role to play in this area, as it encouraged abuse survivors to speak to the investigation team.

A spokeswoman said: "Victims of abuse in Scotland have waited too long to have their voices heard and we urge survivors to make contact with the inquiry to tell their story.

"We hope that the inquiry - when it reports - will succeed in addressing the full extent of any abuse that took place against vulnerable children in care.

"The inquiry also has an important role to play in considering how we can best prevent child abuse in the future.

"We hope that it will leave a lasting legacy which will help protect future generations."

A spokesman for the organisation Former Boys and Girls Abused in Quarriers Homes (FBGA), which has been granted "core participant" status in the inquiry, welcomed the chairwoman's statements on the independence and impartiality of the probe.

He said: "Lady Smith brought much-needed clarity explaining the inquiry processes in the detail that she gave.

"We welcome also the publicity campaign announced too, as this will reach a much wider section of the population who may be able to assist the inquiry."

Police Scotland has also been granted core participant status.

Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said the force supports the inquiry and is fully engaged with it.

"Police Scotland is committed to investigating all forms of child abuse," he said.

"These investigations, particularly of non-recent offences, are complex and challenging but Police Scotland is committed to keeping children safe.

"We owe it to people who report abuse to thoroughly investigate those reports, wherever and whenever they occurred."

He added: "Our focus is always on perpetrators. Information is vital in identifying those individuals who have abused children, especially those who may be still in a position to do so. We will pursue all leads and we would appeal to anyone with information or concerns to contact us."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jon Challicom / PA Wire.