The Guardian, 2nd December 1987 (ocr)

Scotland Yard detectives and social services workers from Brent, north London, have arrested 22 men, aged between 64 and 16-years-old after a two month-long inquiry involving more than 140 boys, it was revealed yesterday. More arrests are expected, and more children will be interviewed.

The offences being investigated involve indecency with children, gross indecency, buggery, attempted buggery and conspiracy among a number of adults to commit buggery.

Mr David Divine, director of social services in Brent said: "The children, from deprived backgrounds, were caught up in a maelstrom not of their own making. They have been abused and chosen because of their poverty."

Sixteen people, 15 men and a boy aged 16, were arrested in dawn raids yesterday on addresses in Kilburn, Harlesden, Paddington and Stoke Newington, London, Twickenham, Middlesex and Hastings, Sussex. Six people, including a 16-year-old, had already been arrested and three men have been charged with various sex offences.

Most of the victims, who are aged between 10 and 15, came from London, but others lived in Berkshire, Wiltshire, Devon and Cambridgeshire.

The operation began in August, when a 10- year-old boy taken into care (not in Brent) said he had been sexually abused. The inquiry quickly escalated into what one senior officer described as a "web of strange inter-personal relationships."

The abused children are now being offered counselling and psychiatric help. Parents are also being offered counselling to deal with the shock in discovering that their sons may 

have  been  abused.   Police stressed that parents were not involved in the investigation.

It is understood that some boys travelled to various places to visit different men. Not all the 140 boys interviewed have alleged sexual assault Police have seized a substantial amount of personal items, including video material.

Mr Divine said: "The children are also being medically examined to ensure they have not picked up something. Their rehabilitation is of major concern to us." Commander David Stevens, who is leading the investigation, said one of the most time-consuming parts of the inquiry was the problem of gaining the confidence of children who had suffered traumatic experiences.

"Given these problems of collecting and collating information and evidence, police and social services have acted as swiftly as possible.

"We have been mindful of the need to prevent further offences. We must encourage other victims to come forward and be helped, in complete confidentiality. Any child victim of buggery, even by consent, is seriously at risk for the rest of its life," added Commander Stevens.

A 64-year-old shoemaker, from Kilburn has been charged with nine offences. He appeared in court at Willesden on October 12, and was remanded in custody.

A 64-year-old clerk from Hastings, will appear at Willesden on Monday. The third man, aged 59 and unemployed, will appear at Willesden on Friday.


The Guardian, 2nd December 1987




Police hold 22 in child sex inquiry (2.12.87)