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Panorama Thursday, 17 January, 2002, 18:27 GMT
Review of child abuse convictions
Are innocent men behind bars?
Are innocent men behind bars?
Review of child abuse convictions

Panorama: In The Name of The Children investigated evidence that some of the convictions of former childcare workers for abuse may be unsafe more than a year ago.

In response to mounting fears about miscarriages of justice, MPs are to review the convictions of more than 100 former care workers accused of abusing children in their care over the last 30 years.

The review will concentrate on concerns that police methods used in these inquiries may have produced unreliable evidence.


It has been suggested a whole new genre of miscarriages of justice has arisen

Chris Mullins MP
Panorama investigated the validity of police inquiry methods, particularly the use of "trawling" where officers inform former care home residents they are following up abuse allegations against an individual.

Financial compensation

This prompted fears that people are encouraged to fabricate claims in order to receive financial compensation.

The Home Affairs Select Committee will also examine the role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in bringing sex abuse charges against individuals.

Committee Chairman Chris Mullins, Labour MP for Sunderland South, said: "It has been suggested that a whole new genre of miscarriages of justice has arisen from the over-enthusiastic pursuit of allegations about the abuse of children in institutions many years ago."

The committee will also consider whether a time limit on prosecution for child abuse should be imposed.

Links to more Panorama stories are at the foot of the page.


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