Over the last 20 years in the Children's Home Cases I have dealt with, I have come across several mysterious fires which took place and destroyed vital documents. At Greystone Heath in Warrington, when the home closed I was told that they had a large fire to burn all the documents which existed, and were not needed, allegedly.
In the Manchester Children's Homes Group Action, more or less all the children's records have been lost or mislaid by the Council.
Birmingham City Council also had the same problem and in an effort to compensate the care leavers tried to recreate what happened by seeking testimony from those who were at the home at the time. This was a partnership between the Council and Warwick University.
The issues are:-
- Abuse victims want justice. They distrust authority and believe in a cover up, as the first person in authority they trusted, usually, abused them.
- Dossiers that go missing are food and drink to those that believe there has been a cover up.
- The victims will think that the Home Office are protecting their own MP's by destroying incriminating documents.
- It is believed that Peter Wanless has been set up to fail and that not enough time has been set aside to do a proper job.
- Simon Danchuk has given an interview to say that there are forensic and IT techniques available to find out what happened to the documents, but that not enough has been done.
- There are witnesses around who no doubt read the document, and could give hearsay witness testimony to say what was in the document. They may still be officers of government and be afraid to speak out.
- The lack of information and reporting is indicative of suspicion on the part of the survivors. It will reinforce their anger and make them more determined to seek justice. That is a good thing, but the support of survivors is key to the process of transparency on the part of government