Abuse inquiry not broad enough to uncover crimes, say survivors

Dave Sharp, a victim of historical child abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church. Picture: Robert Perry
Dave Sharp, a victim of historical child abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church. Picture: Robert Perry
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Abuse survivors have accused the Scottish Government of failing to do enough to investigate crimes against children carried out within the Catholic Church.

Those campaigning for justice for survivors believe the Scottish Government’s inquiry into historical abuse will not have a broad enough remit to uncover the full extent of the crimes committed against youngsters in the care of the Church.

The investigation is looking at the treatment of children who were in residential care, those who had long-term stays in hospital, boarding schools and those under foster care.

Incas (In Care Survivors) want to extend the scope of the inquiry so that it includes all those who had a duty of care towards children.

Incas made its demand following a meeting with Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Alan Draper, Incas parliamentary liaison officer, said: “The government appears to be happy to allow an organisation like the Catholic Church whose members have been responsible for some of the most serious crimes against children, to face any sort of accountability.

“The government is protecting an organisation which has covered up the brutal abuse of hundreds of children who have been sexually, physically, spiritually and psychologically abused in parishes.”

A spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: “The Church reaffirms its commitment to fully co-operate with all aspects of the Child Abuse Inquiry whatever its remit.

“The decision on whether or not to extend that remit is a matter entirely for the Scottish Government.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Deputy First Minister invited survivors to discuss various issues relating to the inquiry and support before he returns to parliament to set out the government’s view on calls to expand the scope of the inquiry remit and consider a national redress scheme.”