Sunday 23rd June 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

NYP Officers Investigated re: Child Abuse (Pt.1)

NYP Officers Investigated re: Child Abuse (Pt.1)

by TIM HICKS

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Introduction

Regular readers will be aware that for some time now, the NYE has been pursuing the case of predatory Police Officers in one or more of North Yorkshire Police’s (NYP) Custody sSuites which are situated in Scarborough (shown above), York and Harrogate Police Stations. According to custody inspection reports, these men have been watching female detainees while they are in a state of undress while they are detained and under their control in the Custody Suites – an offence of voyeurism. This practice has gone on for many years.

Predictably, NYP and the former Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Mrs Zoë Metcalfe, jointly closed ranks and refused to comment on this allegation. To date – although no-one denies that NYP Custody Officers have been routinely committing sexual offences of voyeurism against vulnerable female detainees, some of whom may be under-age – it was impossible to obtain any comment from them. Or to get these crimes investigated.

Cleveland Police investigation into NYP

Kirklevington Detention Centre (KDC) near Yarm, North Yorkshire was a detention centre for boys aged 12-17 from all over the North of England. It is alleged that detainees were subjected to the most horrific sexual, physical and emotional abuse there from the 1960s until 1992. It has now emerged that a number of Officers from North Yorkshire Police (NYP) are under investigation by Cleveland Police in connection with these allegations.

NYP frequently recruits retired Police Officers who have done 30 years’ service to work as civilians. So it is just possible that the same officers involved in the KDC abuse up to 1992, were also involved in the sexual offences at NYP Custody Suites from about 2008 onwards – either as serving Officers or as civilian custody staff after retirement.

The NYP Force area covers all the Authorities for North Yorkshire. However, Kirklevington is part of the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Unitary Authority area, which is within the Cleveland Police Force area, so that Force is conducting the investigation. It is codenamed Operation Magnolia and started in 2014.

More than seven hundred victims have come forward alleging they were physically abused by Prison Officers at KDC from the 1960s to 1992. Some of these victims have alleged that NYP Officers witnessed the abuse of detainees and were fully aware of what was going on. But – as with the Peter Jaconelli/Jimmy Savile paedophile ring that operated openly in Scarborough from the 1960’s to 2011 in Scarborough and the abuse of detainees in NYP Custody Suites – NYP did nothing.

So far, seventeen men who worked at Kirklevington Detention Centre have been arrested and released while enquiries continue. It is unclear if they were all Prison Officers or if some were civilian workers there. One of these men has since died. He faced allegations of physical and sexual abuse from two-hundred-and-seventy former detainees. This gives some idea of the industrial scale of the abuse that occurred at KDC. In addition, sixteen retired Police Officers from NYP, Northumbria, Cleveland, West Yorkshire, Durham and Lancashire have also been interviewed in connection with offences at the centre.

Officers from NYP routinely delivered detainees to KDC from NYP Custody Suites. It is unclear if these were custody officers. An unknown number of other Police Officers fell under suspicion, but died before they could be interviewed. It is not known how many of these Officers were from NYP.

This is one victim’s account extracted from a complaint submitted through a third party:

[Victim’s name redacted] complaint is made against the North Yorkshire Police… North Yorkshire Police were complicit in the sexual, physical and psychological abuse of young children that they transported to KDC throughout the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Upon arrival at KDC the two escorting police officers would take the detainees to the reception area for processing. The police officers would then take off handcuffs and hand over paperwork. At this point detainees were ordered to stand in front of the desk were a prison officer was sat behind. This is when the brutality starts. [Victim’s name redacted] was violently assaulted for not calling the prison officer SIR. But much more disturbing was the fact that the two police officers that witnessed this brutality did absolutely nothing to stop it. They did not arrest the officer, they did not get the victim any medical assistance, they did not escalate the abuse that they had just witnessed to the prison service or anyone in the North Yorkshire Police that was of a higher rank.

[Victim’s name redacted] firmly believes that these omissions were the sole reason why the abuse was allowed to continue for decade after decade. These types of omissions amount to misconduct in a public office. The police service is now holding some prison officers to account for the brutality but are failing to hold their own service to account. If the police would have followed their own policies and procedures and acted on what they had witnessed this abuse could have been and should have been stopped much earlier. Now thousands of victims are left thinking that if the police would have acted earlier then they would not have been abused in the first instance.

To clarify, this complaint is that the North Yorkshire Police Service was complicit in the abuse of children that took place at KDC and by omissions of not bringing it to the attention of the appropriate person or appropriate authorities. This amounts to misconduct in a public office. This proposition is supported by case law. For example see: In R v Dytham (1979), a police officer did nothing while a bouncer kicked a man to death. His conviction for misconduct in a public office was upheld after the court of appeal ruled that such an offence can be committed by omission; specific misconduct was not required. The North Yorkshire Police ….. were fully aware that abuse was taking place at KDC and failed to carry out their lawful obligations, responsibility and duties.”

NYP’s failed investigation at Throxenby Hall

The NYE has previously covered similar allegations of abuse at Throxenby Hall – a residential school for children run by North Yorkshire County Council, situated in Lady Edith Drive on the outskirts of Scarborough. NYE articles here and here.

In July 2015 the Yorkshire Post announced the arrests of three men over abuse at Throxenby Hall in this report here, which is obviously based on a police briefing. In the event the investigation was mysteriously abandoned and a request for an update on the investigation from the NYE was ignored by NYP.

Two boys from Throxenby Hall died under mysterious circumstances. It was alleged that Scarborough paedophile Peter Jaconelli visited the centre.

Although the NYE has tried to keep Throxenby Hall in the public eye, the NYE was not able to get to the bottom of what was going on there. NYE report here. So there appears to have been a successful cover-up by NYP of what was going on and why its investigation into abuse at Throxenby Hall failed.

The Wider Context

Solicitor David Greenwood has acted for victims of the abuse scandals at multiple Detention Centres. He is one of the leading campaigners against abuse of detainees. He has investigated child abuse cases at Eastwood Park, Portland, Whatton, Kirklevington, Buckley hall, Stoke Heath, New Hall, Glenochil, Werrington House, Woking, Send, Haslar, Polmont, Blantyre House, Usk, Axwell Park, Hollesey bay, Deerbolt, Rochester, Glenn Parva, Campsfield House, Hoston Hall, Aldigton and Earlstoke detention centres. He can be seen in this BBC Inside Out investigation into Medomsley Detention Centre by BBC Reporter Chris Jackson. Coincidentally, Chris is the same reporter that investigated Scarborough Police with the NYE over the Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile scandal  in 2013. Investigation here, I appear at 23:00 seconds, NYE reporter Nigel Ward appears at 4:23.

In this article calling for a National Public Inquiry into Detention Centres, David Greenwood states (extract):

“The story of Medomsley Detention Centre is the story of a culture of brutality evolving into serious sexual offending and its cover-up. It is the story depraved mistreatment of teenagers and how this was tolerated, permitted and encouraged not only at Medomsley, but at detention centres throughout the UK. Prison Officers have conspired among each other to avoid investigation. Police officers have conspired to protect prison officers by ignoring dozens of contemporaneous report of abuse.

There have been at least two deaths in custody due to punishment and neglect in the detention centre.”

(NYE review of David Greenwood’s book investigating child abuse in the Church of England can be read here: Basically Innocent by David Greenwood).

These comments would seem to apply equally well to the investigations of Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli, Kirklevington Detention Centre, Throxenby Hall and the sexual abuse of detainees in NYP custody suites up to the present day. No Prison Officer, member of staff or Police Officer has been convicted or even charged and no comment has been made on the NYP website concerning these grave allegations. The custody officers have not been investigated, or suspended from duty. NYP has effortlessly swept this issue under the carpet and was supported in this by the former Police and the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe. The official that is supposed to hold the police to account.

Only the NYE has raised this issue, which has also been ignored by the mainstream media in North Yorkshire.

PC Wayne Couzens started his offending with a series of offences of indecent exposure, but was protected by the Police, which allowed him to graduate to the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard. It is essential that when misconduct by a Police Officer is discovered, that he is confronted, before he becomes part of an escalating pattern of offending culminating in more serious offences.

The NYE’s concern is that the NYP Custody Officers that have been involved in the abuse of detainees in NYP custody suites and Kirklevington Detention Centre, may also have been involved in more serious offences.

The role of Scarborough Police Station

The epicenter for all these scandals is Scarborough Police Station:

  • Scarborough Police did not arrest Jaconelli or Savile.
  • It is unclear if Jaconelli and Saville were involved in the abuse at Thorxenby Hall.
  • The Throxenby Hall investigation failed.
  • Kirklevington Detention Centre was the closest detention centre to Scarborough, so there can be very little doubt that Scarborough Police Officers witnessed the brutality there while delivering prisoners there.
  • It is one of the three custody suites implicated in the latest custody officer scandal.

Had one of the NYP escorting officers arrested a Prison Officer at KDC in accordance with his duty, the scandal would have been exposed and hundreds of boys would have been protected. Likewise, if one of the many complaints against Scarborough Borough Councillor Peter Jaconelli had been investigated, he and Savile would have been exposed, thereby preventing multiple rapes.

Nevertheless no action has been taken and the same culture of cover-up exists now as existed for Savile and Jaconelli. Mayor for York and North Yorkshire David Skaith was asked for a comment on the NYP custody suite scandal and had not responded to the NYE by the time the article went for publication.

NYE Appeal for Information

If you have had a bad experience in NYP custody or at Kirklevington Detention Centre, please let the NYE know in complete confidence using the letters@nyenquirer.uk email address. I would particularly like to hear from victims of abuse at Throxenby Hall who knew Detainee Mennell.


Coming Next

“Part 2: More Revelations re NYP Child-Abuse”

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