AN MP has welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge to support Durham Police as they deal with inquiries into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at a former North-East detention centre.
North West Durham MP Pat Glass spoke after David Cameron gave his assurance that extra resources will be available to the force should a major incident happen while it carries out its investigation into Medomsley Detention Centre, in her constituency.
Her intervention came as police revealed they have now been contacted by 375 people since a new investigation was launched last August into claims of abuse at the Home Office-run centre, near Consett, between the late 1960s and mid 1980s.
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Mrs Glass, who met last week with Durham Police and Crime Commissoner Ron Hogg and senior investigating officer Chief Superintendent Paul Goundry said: “I was told they have the resources they need.
“They are determined to see this inquiry through and leave no stone unturned. But Durham is a small force and it just needs some serious incident. . .
“Although it wouldn’t stop the investigation, it would have an impact on the speed at which victims can be seen.
“We want to ensure that should it become necessary, Durham Police have the resources to keep their specialist team in place until the conclusion of the inquiry.”
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Cameron said: “I think some of our smaller police forces are hugely capable, but when they are doing very complex and large investigations like this on occasion they do need help and support - so we should make sure that is available.”
Mrs Glass said today (Friday, February 7): “The Prime Minister said twice that he was committed to that and once I got it in writing on Hansard that he is committed – that is all I wanted.”
An earlier investigation led to a former catering officer at the centre, Neville Husband being jailed in 2003 for abusing a number of young men over a period of time. He died in 2010, following his release from prison.
The centre closed in 1988 and later reopened as the privately-run Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in 1999.