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Special investigation into Medomsley Detention Centre announced

By David Greenwood

Published In: Child Abuse, Switalskis News

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has opened a special investigation into the abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre (“MDC”) following legal action taken by men who suffered abuse.

Many boys and young men were systematically sexually and physically abused at MDC in Consett, County Durham between 1967 and 1986. There have been numerous convictions of former prison officers for abuse perpetrated at Medomsley.

young man walking between fences

Despite many criminal prosecutions and civil compensation claims many questions remain unanswered.

  1. How could widespread systematic abuse have been allowed?
  2. Who knew about the abuse and when did they know about it?
  3. What did the Home Office, Police, Probation Service and NHS know about the abuse?
  4. What were the missed opportunities to prevent the abuse?

Switalskis pressed hard for this special investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (“PPO”). We took judicial review proceedings in the High Court to force the Government to commission the PPO special investigation and we now hope as many former detainees as possible will tell their stories. The PPO will only be able to expose failures if former trainees tell their stories.

I’m really pleased the Medomsley boys are getting a proper independent investigation into what went wrong at Medomsley Detention Centre. I hope all the men abused will contact me and the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman to give their stories of abuse. We need to know how much was known by the Prison service, Police, Probation and the NHS about the abuse as thousands of boys suffered unspeakably cruel treatment at Medomsley.

If you are a former detainee of MDC and wish to talk to the PPO or pursue compensation Switalskis team can advise you confidentially.

Call the team on 01924 882000 or e mail

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David has worked in the legal sector for 30 years. He is a Solicitor, Director and Head of Switalskis' Child Abuse Compensation department.

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