Former hospital staff members give insight into historic sexual abuse in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 17:07 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:07 29 October 2018

Operation Meadow is investigating allegations of historic sexual abuse at Hill End Adolescent Unit in St Albans.

Operation Meadow is investigating allegations of historic sexual abuse at Hill End Adolescent Unit in St Albans.


Former staff members are speaking to police as part of an investigation into sexual abuse at a St Albans hospital.

Herts police launched ‘Operation Meadow’ in November last year to investigate reports of physical and sexual abuse towards patients at Hill End Adolescent Unit between 1969 and 1995.

So far 75 people who were admitted to the unit as patients or knew someone who stayed there have come forward, and police are now taking accounts from former staff members of their time spent at the unit and details of the practices used in dealing with patients there.

Medical and child care experts are also being asked to review the material gathered to provide their professional views on the treatment of children staying at the unit.

The majority of people who have contacted the force have made allegations in relation to the way they were treated while at the unit, while others are witnesses to treatment or have made a third party report.

Herts police takes all reports of sexual and physical abuse seriously regardless of how long ago the offence may have occurred, and there are specialist officers who are trained in supporting victims through the investigation process.

Those who believe they have been a victim of this type of abuse can make contact with police by calling 101, using the online reporting option through the Op Meadow web pages, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at

A central email - - has been set up in order to receive any referrals and to answer queries.

This email address will be monitored seven days a week and specialist officers aim to be in contact with any reporting person within 72 hours of their initial contact.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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