Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Church child abuse allegations rise

Allegations of abuse of children and young people received by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales rose last year

Allegations of abuse of children and young people received by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales rose last year, according to a new report.

There were 83 allegations of abuse relating to 103 victims and 92 alleged abusers in 2010, according to the annual report of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC).

Of the 103 victims, 18 were alleged to have been abused in the current year, compared to 18 of the 52 victims in 2009 who reported they were abused that year.

The allegations of abuse from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s rose from 20 in 2009 to 63 last year.

The NCSC report found that many of those reporting abuse were prompted by Pope Benedict XVI's state visit last September.

Of the 92 alleged abusers, 80 were clergy or religious, six employees, three volunteers and three were parishioners.

The types of abuse alleged included sexual, physical and emotional, as well as four allegations of child-abusive images - two relating to parishioners, one to a priest and one to a volunteer.

The allegations made in 2010 have so far resulted in two jail sentences, two court hearings and one police caution or warning, according to the report.

An investigation is under way by the statutory authorities and still in progress in 41 cases, with no further action by the authorities in relation to 46 allegations. The commission reported 41 allegations of abuse against children in 2009 - of 43 alleged abusers, 26 were clergy or religious, seven volunteers, seven parishioners and three were employees.

The NCSC was set up following a recommendation in a review of the Church's progress in implementing child protection procedures headed by Baroness Julia Cumberlege.