Police probe abuse claims at city children’s homes

Police are investigating. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
Police are investigating. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
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Police have launched a probe into allegations of child abuse at two children’s homes in the Capital.

Ten children have come forward claiming they suffered grooming and exploitation while living in council-owned care homes – with some of the incidents said to have taken place on site. It is understood one of the homes being investigated is Northfield young people’s centre, a seven-bed residential unit for 12 to 18-year-olds.

Police Scotland confirmed a joint investigation with Edinburgh City Council was under way.

One source said to be close to the investigation was reported to have said there had been “growing suspicions” the abuse was organised by a predatory group of men targeting children’s units.

The source reportedly added: “What nobody knows is the true scale of it. We don’t know how many victims there are or how many culprits. It’s not clear whether this involves a few isolated incidents or opportunistic abuse – which would be bad enough – or if there have been networks of people systematically targeting children across the city.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh work closely with a wide range of partners to provide support and safety measures to keep young people safe, and this includes rigorous assessment and investigation of reports of child sexual exploitation.

“We are currently working with those partners to assess reports we have received involving a number of young people. Support and safety measures have been put in place for the young people concerned while our inquiries, which are at an early stage, ascertain whether any criminality has occurred.”