Child Abuse Inquiry Hears from 648th and Final Witness

BBC News
December 11, 2020

Inquiry chairwoman Prof Alexis Jay was the fourth person to lead the probe

An inquiry into claims of child sexual abuse in England and Wales has finished its final public hearing.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard evidence from 648 witnesses over four years.

It is investigating claims against local authorities, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions - as well as people in the public eye.

The inquiry's final report will be published in 2022.

IICSA was set up in July 2014 after hundreds of people came forward to say Jimmy Savile had abused them as children.

But it was initially beset with controversy, with three chairwomen resigning and lawyers quitting their posts.

In 2016 current chairwoman, Prof Alexis Jay, who led the Rotherham abuse inquiry, was appointed to the role.

The IICSA has held 323 days of public hearings and disclosed 24,565 documents totalling more than 590,000 pages.

The hearings have led to 14 reports so far - with a further five due to be published next year -containing 53 recommendations to better protect children from sexual abuse.

The inquiry has investigated allegations of abuse against Lord Janner, who died in 2015

Speaking at the end of the public hearings, Prof Jay thanked the witnesses who had contributed to the inquiry's 15 investigations.

"A vast amount of work has gone into making these hearings possible over the last four years, including earlier this year when we became the UK's first public inquiry to hear evidence in a virtual setting following the outbreak of Covid-19.

"While this is a significant milestone for the inquiry, we still have a busy programme of work to complete in the coming year.

"This will cover research and investigation reports, which will all contribute to our final report."








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