Operation Pallial recently received an email, via a third party, from someone asking why some people were told about the Public Report being published in advance of April 29, while others with an interest in abuse in North Wales had not been contacted. We do not have a reply address to respond directly to the person, so felt it might be useful to share more generally what we are doing to keep those currently in contact with us, as victims or witnesses, informed. We thank those who have agreed to share this message with others who may be interested in Operation Pallial and we hope it also reaches the original person who contacted us.
While I am not able to confirm personal details of any individuals who may or may not have been contacted by members of Operation Pallial, for obvious reasons, I would like to share with you the basis on which we currently share or issue information.
Firstly, no information was provided to any victims in advance of the arrest of a man in Suffolk, as it would not be appropriate to announce police action publicly before it had taken place. We did issue a media release after the arrest and again after the man had been interviewed, to confirm that he was being released on bail while we continue to investigate.
As an investigation, following consultation with a number of organisations who represent or support victims, we were encouraged to provide victims who had come forward to Operation Pallial with advanced access to the Public Report on Progress, which was published on April 29.
We contacted everyone who had come forward to report abuse to us since November last year and informed them, in confidence, of the date and time that the report would be made public and how they could access and read it a few hours in advance if they wished to do so.
We have received positive feedback from victims, who appreciated being given advanced warning of the publicity generated by the report, together with an opportunity to see it; rather than hear extracts reported in the news media and online.
We were not selective in informing only a few of those who came forward; in fact we reached the vast majority of individuals in the week before the report was published.
If anyone feels, as a group or individually, that they would like more engagement with us, I would be happy to discuss this. Alternatively, you can approach the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the NSPCC, Victim Support or the Chair of North Wales Police's Independent Advisory Group and discuss your needs with them. All of these organisations and individuals meet regularly with myself and other members of Operation Pallial and we welcome feedback on all aspects of the investigation, including our communications.
We will continue to keep victims and witnesses as informed as possible throughout the investigation. Clearly there will be occasions, such as arrests, where this will not be possible.
Detective Superintendent, Operation Pallial