Investigations continue into historic sexual abuse in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 12:42 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:49 06 June 2018

Herts police are continuing their investigation into historic sexual abuse in St Albans.

Herts police are continuing their investigation into historic sexual abuse in St Albans.

Archant

Police have spoken to 74 people as part of the ‘Operation Meadow’ investigation into abuse at a St Albans hospital from the 1960s to 1990s.

Herts Police are conducting the criminal investigation into reports of physical and sexual abuse against patients who stayed at the Hill End Adolescent Unit between 1969 and 1995, when the unit closed.

The majority of the people who have come forward, 65 in total, have made allegations in relation to the way they were treated while staying at the unit. Others were witnesses to the treatment, or have made a third party report.

Det Chief Insp Jerome Kent, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is a complex investigation and we have always expected it to be a long process.

“A significant amount of work has been carried out since the start of this investigation in November 2017 by a specialist team of officers, who are dedicated to establishing exactly what happened to children who stayed at Hill End Adolescent Unit.

“The team has spoken to everyone that has made contact and full details of their experiences have been recorded.

“We are continuing to work with our partners in the health service to ensure that, where required, support is offered to those who have been affected by this investigation and to fully explore the allegations that have been made.”

Police have stated that they take all reports of sexual and physical abuse seriously, regardless of how long ago the abuse may have occurred. They have 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 contact police on the non-emergency number 101, online on the Herts police website, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

A central email, opmeadow@herts.pnn.police.uk, has been set up to receive any referrals and answer queries. The email account will be monitored seven days a week and specialist officers aim to respond to emails within 72 hours. To report online go to https://www.herts.police.uk/Information-and-services/Victim-services/Operation-Meadow/Operation-Meadow-investigation-into-Hill-End-Adolescent-Unit-in-St-Albans-Hertfordshire

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CountryPhile

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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