Victims of child abuse ‘too many for state’
The number of historical child abuse victims could reach the tens of thousands and overwhelm the system, a leading MP has claimed.
Labour’s John Mann, who has given a dossier of allegations of historical abuse to police, said victims wanted a national institute.
He said the government needed the backing of those claiming to have been abused by establishment figures and in state institutions.
Mr Mann said the state could not deal with the numbers of people coming forward.
The inquiry, sparked by claims of paedophiles operating in Westminster in the 1980s, is set to investigate whether “public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales”.
The panel has started work but has no one to lead.
Two candidates for chair – former judge Baroness Butler-Sloss and ex-Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf – have already had to stand aside over their establishment links.
Dozens of survivors have called for the government to scrap the inquiry and replace it with a more powerful body.
Mr Mann said: “It’s not just about who chairs an inquiry, it’s about what the remit of an inquiry should be, who else should be sat on that inquiry, who should be advising it.
“As an example, one of the things that survivors’ groups are calling for in the discussions I’ve had with them is for government to set up a national institute to take forward this work on what you do with all these people coming forward.
“Probably, it’s going to be many tens of thousands of people across the country.
“The state can’t deal with the numbers of people coming forward.
“The police and social services cannot cope with the volume that’s there, even now – and we’re hardly at the beginning of people coming forward.”