The leader of the Party of Wales, Leanne Wood AM, has said that the Waterhouse Inquiry should be reopened and expanded in order to investigate allegations of a cover up of abuse of children in care in the north of Wales in the seventies and eighties. Ms Wood, a former probation officer, was backing the call from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales for an inquiry following criticism from Steve Messham, one of hundreds who were sexually abused.
Leanne Wood said that her party would be raising the issue as a matter of urgency with the Welsh Government. The Waterhouse Inquiry report, looked into the allegations and came out in 2000, but Mr Messham has said that it uncovered just a fraction of the abuse centred around the Bryn Estyn care home in the north of Wales.
Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood AM, said:
“It is crucial for the victims of this horrific abuse that these allegations are properly investigated, they deserve a full and open hearing. It appears that there is further institutionalised abuse that needs to be exposed, in addition to the scandal that was uncovered and investigated more than a decade ago. These men in a position of power have so far been protected and that cannot be allowed to continue. They have to be brought to justice for their actions. The victims deserve justice, and the wider public has to be able to have confidence in the system.
“I fully support the calls of Wales’s Children’s Commissioner for an inquiry. The office of the Children’s Commissioner was established as a result of the Waterhouse Inquiry and it is important that he is empowered to do his job properly. I would like to see the Waterhouse Inquiry reopened with its terms of reference expanded. The Party of Wales will be raising this with the Welsh Government in the Assembly as a matter of urgency this week to see exactly what can be done. I have also asked people affected to get in touch on a confidential basis via twitter and facebook.”