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Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Police are looking into allegations of child abuse in Nottingham children's homes going back to the 1950s.

Children's homes should be a place of safety, and harm of any kind is a dreadful and damaging abuse of duty and trust which we take extremely seriously.

The City Council will not shy away from these historical allegations and, with the County Council and Police, is committed to bringing perpetrators to justice and ensuring professional standards are upheld.

The councils were also the subject of an investigation by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. It looked into sexual abuse that happened to children in the care of the councils in the past, and how the council has responded to this. It has now reported its findings here.

What if I'm affected by abuse?

We understand how difficult it is for abuse survivors to come forward and would assure them they would be listened to, taken seriously and action taken wherever possible. The City Council always encourages anybody aware of or affected by abuse, current or historical, to come forward and speak to us on 0115 876 4800 or the Police by calling 101. All calls will be treated with absolute confidentiality. 

There will be opportunities to provide evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. For more information go to the Inquiry website here: 


  • Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Police are looking into allegations of child abuse in children's homes going back to the 1940s
  • In 2010 five individuals lodged civil claims in respect of allegations of abuse at Beechwood Community Home, Woodborough Road, Mapperley (a former approved school, observation and assessment centre, remand home, and latterly a community home). Beechwood closed in 2006. The allegations were subject to a joint investigation by the City Council and Nottinghamshire Police. The Council commissioned an independent investigation by the NSPCC
  • In 2011 a former resident made allegations of abuse relating to their time at Beechwood in the 1980s. At this stage, Nottinghamshire Police launched Operation Daybreak to investigate all allegations in respect of Beechwood and related matters
  • Operation Daybreak, to date, involves allegations ranging from emotional, physical and sexual harm between the 1950s and 2000, with 110 allegations to the Police and 101 civil claims

Operation Daybreak involves allegations ranging from emotional, physical and sexual harm between the 1950s and 2000, with more than 100 allegations to the Police. A significant number of civil claims have also been received by Nottinghamshire County Council (and the City Council).

Operations Xeres was launched by Nottinghamshire Police in early 2015 looking at similar allegations in the north of the county dating from the 1940s to the 1990s.

Operation Daybreak and Operation Xeres are now being managed by the police under the umbrella of Operation Equinox.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse announced on November 27, 2015, the first phase of investigations into the extent to which institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse. It was announced that Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils would be one of the Inquiry's first 12 investigations.

The public hearing for the Notts Councils investigation took place on October 2018 and reported its findings on July 31 2019. You can read the report here and the council’s response to the findings below.

There is a range of local support services which people can access, as well as through IICSA.

The Council is committed to fully supporting the principles and aims of the Inquiry and will continue to cooperate fully.

See the IICSA announcement and supporting documents here: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse investigations. There is further information on the focus, scope and approach of the Inquiry's Nottingham investigation here: IICSA investigation into Notts councils.

There is a range of local support service which people can access, as well as through IICSA. Survivors can also engage with IICSA's Truth Project

The City Council has published its action plan responding to the Inquiry’s recommendations here.

Nottingham City Council's response to llCSA's findings

Nottingham City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, and Chief Executive Ian Curryer said:

“This Inquiry has carried out some incredibly important work to understand why abuse took place in the past so that lessons can be learnt and survivors can have their voice heard and gain some sense of closure. We accept its findings and recommendations and will take appropriate action.

“This Inquiry has heard about decades of shocking abuse in council-run care homes in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Since taking over responsibility for children’s care in 1998, we accept that Nottingham City Council let survivors down in the worst possible way, and for that and the ongoing impact that has had on your lives, we are truly sorry. We accept that the council made mistakes and should have done more to protect children from harm while they were in our care. It’s clear now that we should have closed Beechwood sooner and replaced it with the family-type homes we run today.

“The council endeavoured to address past mistakes and facilitate appropriate support for survivors but we accept that despite our best intentions we have sometimes fallen short of their expectations. We have been working with some survivors to build on the support already in place to make sure it meets your needs now and in the future, and have already made changes so it is easier for survivors to access the support they need.

“We want to reassure everyone that the council has taken the Inquiry extremely seriously and will be considering its findings very carefully to make sure we’re doing everything we can as well as we can to protect today's’ children from harm and provide the best possible support for you and any other abuse survivors. Like all councils, we are constantly striving to improve our services and will redouble our efforts to do that in light of this report. Changes that have already happened both nationally and locally mean that children in our care today receive a standard of care that bears no resemblance to the past.

“We also want to acknowledge that while many survivors feel that an apology is a personal issue, others wanted us to make a public apology. We have now done that, but we’re sorry for any further distress we caused to those who would have welcomed a public apology from us sooner – we didn’t get that right. We want to thank survivors who gave evidence for your brave testimonies which have shone a light on a dark period for Nottingham which we hope will help survivors, and the council, move ahead.

“Finally, we would urge anyone who has been or is being abused or knows someone who has been or is being abused, to get in touch with us on 0300 131 0300. You will be listened to, taken seriously and given the support you need.”

Responding to new allegations of historical abuse

  • All new referrals are initially processed by our Children and Families Direct service. In that service, three specifically trained service advisors take calls about historical abuse
  • The service follows a clear process designed to ascertain key information about the concern that is being highlighted. Advisors will also seek to clarify whether the survivor has appropriate support or access to support such as counselling
  • If the alleged abuser has children or contact with children then Children's Social Care would assess risk
  • On all occasions, the details of the alleged perpetrator are passed to the Local authority Designated Officer (LADO). The LADO has a key role to play in supporting agencies to respond appropriately when there are concerns about the suitability of individuals who work with children and young people. In carrying out this work the LADO will ensure that relevant records are reviewed and work closely with colleagues from the City and County Council and the police
  • In October 2014 the Nottingham City Council publication Arrow detailed how people can contact us if they have or had concerns. We have dealt with further contacts as a result of this

Support for survivors 

  • All alleged survivors have been listened to and their concerns and allegations have been taken seriously
  • This will continue to be the case. Current investigations are being progressed by two dedicated teams of specialist police officers and are being progressed through both civil and criminal proceedings, although a number of cases are only in one or other of these processes
  • Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have commissioned an independent private law firm to investigate all civil claims. Claimants are represented by their legal advisors. Disputed claims are heard in civil court with decisions being made by a judge
  • A support pathway for survivors has been developed by local health colleagues. Information regarding this will be sent to all of those who have made some form of complaint. 
  • There is a dedicated survivor section of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse website
  • There was also a Victims and Survivors Forum Pilot event on August 2016, the summary of which can be found here
  • Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse may wish to consider completing this Government survey which aims to inform the Government’s new Victims Strategy by looking at a victim’s journey through the criminal justice system

Other documents relating to survivors support are available at the foot of this page.

Additional background information

Allegations (criminal or civil) have been made against individuals (including members of staff) at several institutions in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, most of which have since closed. These institutions have been listed below.

We will not list any homes that Nottinghamshire Police advise the publication of which could compromise ongoing investigations.


Current status

Amberdale (Stapleford)

became Clayfields House Secure Unit

Ashley House (Worksop)

now closed

Beechwood Complex (Mapperley)

Units at one time individually called, LindensRedcot and Enderleigh formed what was then known as Beechwood.  The Beechwood unit was also later known as Woodborough Road

now closed

Berry Hill Open Air School (Mansfield)

now closed

Bracken House may also have been known as Crabtree Farm (Bulwell)

now closed

Brick House (Radcliffe on Trent)

now closed

Caudwell House (Southwell)

closed, then became home for children with disabilities

Cobblestones (St Ann’s)

now closed

Forest Lodge (Hyson Green) also linked to Forest Lodge (Forest Fields)

now closed

Greencroft (Clifton) may also have been known as Lees Children’s Home

now closed

Hazelwood (Forest Fields)

now closed

Laybrook and Somersall Street

now closed

Ranskill Gardens, later known as Farmlands

(Top Valley)

now closed

Redtiles (Bestwood Park) Re-opened as Beckhampton Road


Repton Lodge (Worksop)

now closed

The Ridge (Mansfield)

now closed

Risley Hall (Risley)

now closed

Skegby Hall (Sutton in Ashfield)

now closed

South Collingham Hall (Newark)

now closed

Sycamore House (Sherwood)

now closed

Wollaton House, later known as Radford Bridge Road (Wollaton)

now closed

Wood Nook, later known as Beechdale Road and Lady Bay (Nottingham)

now closed

Woodyard Lane, formerly known as Cherry Orchard (Nottingham)

now closed

Whatton Young Offender Institute(Whatton)

now a prison for adults

When is this said to have taken place?

Some of the allegations date back to the 1950s through to around 2000. Both councils and the police have previously taken action in earlier cases of historical abuse.

Over the decades, due to local government reorganisations, the responsibility for running the homes in Nottingham has passed between the City and County Councils. The County Council was responsible for the homes between 1974 and 1998, with the City Council responsible before and after those dates.

What is being done to investigate these allegations?

A police investigation was launched in 2011 to investigate the criminal allegations. It is ongoing and so far has resulted in several arrests, charges and convictions.

The police investigation continued and in early 2015 started looking into similar allegations in north Nottinghamshire. Both councils are taking the allegations very seriously and are helping the Police with their investigations to try to get the truth and, hopefully, bring perpetrators to justice.

Operation Daybreak and Operation Xeres are now being managed by the police under the umbrella of Operation Equinox.

Both councils and the police have previously taken action in earlier cases of historical abuse.

Civil claims for compensation, relating to historical physical and sexual abuse, are underway against both councils, centring on but not exclusive to Beechwood Community Home.

There have been more than 100 claims submitted to the Councils to date several which have already been settled. The councils are continuing to respond to these appropriately.

If you experienced abuse in your childhood you are entitled to see the perpetrators brought to justice, and if that abuse took place within institutions you may be entitled to civil compensation.

If you want to make a criminal complaint you should contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101. If you wish to pursue a civil claim against an organisation, you would be advised to seek independent legal advice either by contacting a solicitor directly or via the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

It is possible to make either a criminal or a civil claim on their own or to progress both at the same time.

There is a strategic group of local authority directors, senior police and health colleagues supporting all aspects of these investigations, including offering support to survivors. Work overseen by this group is underway to ensure that any lessons are learnt from what happened in the past at children's homes in Nottinghamshire, how services at those homes were delivered, and how local agencies have responded to the allegations of abuse and will engage survivors or representative groups in this process. This work will be independently reviewed, but not until the active police investigation has concluded, to ensure that its integrity is maintained and the prospect of securing convictions is not undermined.

The councils are also engaging fully with the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

There will sadly always be individuals who seek to harm children. This council is committed to always doing everything we can, with our partners, to protect children from them and keep children in Nottingham safe. The safety and wellbeing of children in our care is our highest priority.

Residential care has transformed over the period these allegations relate to, changing from large institutions intended for providing containment, sometimes punishment, and education through to community homes and to the current provision of small group homes for those children unable to live in a family environment.  The use of corporal punishment remained acceptable, and regulation of residential care was minimal, until the 1990s. Child protection procedures were established in the early 1980s, with sexual abuse being included from 1985.

Children's homes now have much tighter scrutiny and controls and any complaints from children in care are always listened to by independent experts. The safety, quality of care and outcome for individual children are now closely monitored and reviewed by Ofsted, local safeguarding children boards. A recent inspection of children's services by the independent regulator Ofsted confirmed that Nottingham City Council has put in place effective measures to safeguard and protect our most vulnerable children.

Police investigations have been subject to ongoing independent scrutiny and a multi-agency strategic management group has been established to oversee the response to these allegations, with clear terms of reference in line with national child protection procedures.

Both councils are already undertaking work to ensure that any lessons are learnt from what happened in the past at children's homes in Nottinghamshire, how services at those homes were delivered, and how local agencies have responded to allegations of abuse and will engage victims and survivors or representative groups in this process.

Both councils have welcomed the independent scrutiny that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will bring to cases of historical sexual abuse and will engage fully with it. The full scope of any local independent review required will become clearer once we fully understand what ground the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will cover.

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