One in four abused children ‘told Quarrier’s staff about attacks’

Quarriers Village in Renfrewshire. Picture: JP
Quarriers Village in Renfrewshire. Picture: JP
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More than a quarter of people who alleged they were abused at a children’s home said they had told staff about the attacks while they were still in care, an inquiry has been told.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) heard 164 people complained to police about suffering abuse at Quarrier’s Village in Renfrewshire from the 1930s onwards.

Of those, 42 told officers they had informed staff about the abuse at the time, while they were staying at the village.

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But just eight members of staff told police they recalled children speaking to them about abuse at the establishment, the inquiry heard.

The inquiry in Edinburgh is continuing to hear evidence about residential childcare establishments run by large-scale care providers.

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It is focusing for now on Quarriers, which aside from the late 19th-century village near Bridge of Weir, also had smaller bases in Glasgow and Ardrossan and Largs in North Ayrshire. The village started to be “wound down” in the 1980s, the inquiry has heard.

Detective Inspector Des McKenna, of Police Scotland, was involved in preparing an overview report for the inquiry about investigations that have taken place over a number of years into allegations of abuse of children at establishments run by Quarriers. A total of 196 people have complained of abuse across all the Quarriers institutions, he told the probe yesterday.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said: “At Quarrier’s Village, Bridge of Weir, there’s 164 complainers identified.

“The age of complainers at the time of the abuse was two to 17 and that was for both sexual and physical abuse.”

Discussing the report, James Peoples QC, senior counsel to the inquiry, told the hearing the complainers were both male and female, with slightly more females involved.

The inquiry heard the “vast majority” of complainers were reporting abuse that took place in the 1960s and 1970s. A “substantial number” also related to the 1950s.

“They were complaining of a variety of forms of abuse – sexual, physical or indeed both,” Mr Peoples said.

Mr McKenna said 183 individuals were accused of abuse across the various premises, although not all were able to be identified by a full name.

The large majority, 159, were linked to the village, the inquiry heard. Of those, 107 were male and 52 were female and they were made up of staff members, residents and “external” people. The inquiry heard how the complaints resulted in 27 reports being submitted to prosecutors.