The Scouts Association has issued an apology for child abuse within its movement after admitting that it has paid out over £500,000 in compensation to abuse victims in the last two years.
A spokesman for the Scouts said:
“We apologise to all those who have been abused during their time in
Scouting. The safety and support of young people in
Scouting is our number one priority.
“Any abuse of young people is abhorrent and we are deeply sorry for
anybody hurt by the actions of abusers. We strive to
ensure these abuses do not take place.”
Increase in historical child abuse claims
The apology has been issued in response to a BBC report claiming that over 50 victims have come forward to issue historical abuse claims against the Scouts following the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Though the association has denied this figure, they have admitted that 36 claims have made since October 2012. This compares to the 12 other such claims it has received since its formation in 1907.
The apology also comes after allegations that perpetrators of sexual abuse within the movement were not reported to the police.
During the investigation into Martyn Tucker; a former scoutmaster who admitted 26 sex offences against boys in the 1960s and 1970s and who was jailed for 12 years in May this year, an internal file on the allegations from the Scout Association’s headquarters was uncovered. This included statements from a number of boys made at the time that had not been passed on to the police.
“We deeply regret this failure,” a spokesman said, giving a reassurance that the organisation was confident that mistakes of the past would not be repeated.
Merseyside sex offences
It is understood that, since the apology was issued, dozens more people have come forward to claim they were victims of child abuse. In addition to this, a Merseyside scout leader has since been found guilty of sexually molesting two teenagers.
A jury at Liverpool Crown Court took under an an hour to unanimously convict Gavin Owen of two charges of sexual assault, and during his four-day trial the court heard that the 37-year-old had abused both boys after inviting them round to his home on separate occasions.
Advice and support from Hampson Hughes Solicitors
If you have any information regarding historical child sex abuse within the Scouts Association, and you would like expert guidance and valuable support going forward, please contact Greg Neill on 0151 242 1069 or via email:
We will ensure that your case remains confidential, and that all guilty parties are held accountable.