In investigating the horrors of the OCVC sexual and physical abuse, and the pornographic videos, including child pornography and videos of children being physically beaten, torture and extreme abuses in Afghanistan, the UK Column has met ex-students, read witness statements and studied their documentation. We have printed names and photographs of individuals linked to abuses, such as OCVC staff members Andrew Fellows and John Guiver. We know that this and much other evidence has been submitted to the appropriate authorities. Andrew Fellows was quietly ‘let go’ from OCVC, deliberately denying parents, schools who sent their 14 year old pupils to OCVC, and the public the truth of his vile actions around students. Students were placed at risk of abuse and his partners in crime were left in post.
Why has no full and proper investigation into all of the reported abuses ever been released to the general public? Because no such investigation exists.
Jim Lievers Director of Children’s Services for Oxfordshire County Council recently emailed the following text. It refers to the UK Column in the context that a member of the public asked if any of the UK Column reports were accurate.
“From the investigations undertaken and from the subsequent information provided to the County Council following these investigations, I can confirm that the vast majority of the allegations have not been substantiated. I would also confirm that where any of the allegations have been substantiated, action has been taken to address this matter.”
Mr Lievers is not telling the truth. Either he is being misled by his own staff, or OCVC and Thames Valley Police have failed to declare what has really been happening, or he is deliberately misleading the public. The truth is, that allegations have not been substantiated, because they have not been investigated. Full and necessary actions to protect young people have not been taken.
In an earlier email Lievers stated...” I should point out that none of the very serious allegations reported in the UK column have been substantiated and that the ones over which action has been taken were not linked to serious harm to children and/or young people. So in connection with the allegations themselves, I can re-assure you that all the allegations made in this article have been investigated and appropriate action in regard to all concerns has been taken by the employing body.”
Again this is a false statement by Lievers. Serious allegations, involving harm, have not been substantiated because they have not been investigated. The pattern is simple.
As just one example, Lievers has personally been in receipt of a witness statement detailing prolonged targeted physical and sexual abuse of one victim, who feared they would be raped. This was originally sent to Oxfordshire County Council in April 2008.
Despite receiving this document again in early May 2012 – two further chaser letters were sent which Lievers ignored. Lievers only responded some four months later, after a complaint was made to the Local Government Ombudsman in August 2012. Moreover, Leivers’ reply contained inaccurate information and / or false statements regarding dates and actions supposedly taken by the Oxfordshire Council.
Just as with the failings of Rotherham Child Safeguarding Board, our investigations and documentary evidence shows that Leivers and Oxfordshire Child Safeguarding Board, do not have a clear and accurate account of the horrendous abuses at OCVC, as most of the original complaints were obfuscated, buried or simply not reported by OCVC managers.
We are still puzzled as to why Oxfordshire Child Safeguarding Board advised OCVC to employ an external HR “jobbing” consultant, Ray Tregear, to investigate safeguarding issues, since such investigations are the responsibility of the Local Child Safeguarding Board itself. Tregear, currently believed to be working for a call centre firm in Northern Ireland on recruitment issues, was unqualified to handle such a child safety investigation.
If UK Column reports are not accurate why has no legal action been taken against us? Why has not one single person from Oxfordshire County Council, OCVC or Thames Valley Police contacted the UK Column with a view to conducting a full investigation, asking us to pass on any information we have?
In February of this year, two ex students students 16 and 17, reported an OCVC staff member, already implicated in abuse of other students, for physical assault. No formal statements were ever taken by TVP and five weeks later the police informed the family that no further action would be taken due to the lack of evidence. The ‘no investigation, no evidence’ pattern continues. Neither student could return to OCVC for fear of being assaulted again. One has joined another college where they now feel safe and are understood to be doing well.
As we go to press, mainstream media reports in South Yorkshire state that “Rochdale Council and Greater Manchester Police received 127 warnings from NHS staff about children as young as 10 at risk of abuse and ‘missed opportunities’ to stop an Asian gang that raped dozens of vulnerable young girls over several years .....Rochdale social services, police and the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to shut down the sex ring - dismissing victims as prostitutes in years of turning a blind eye, a damning report into the scandal has found.” Alongside the Local Authority and Police, the Safeguarding Children Board was found badly wanting.
Could there be a ‘failure’ to identify paedophile behaviour at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, or an inadequacy in safeguarding at Oxfordshire Council? Or are paedophiles being protected?
Sally Dicketts Head of OCVC and every Councillor in Oxfordshire County Council has been made aware of our findings on abuse. Key Councillors have been given witness statements. The Director for Children’s Services, Mr Jim Lievers, has been contacted and repeatedly re-informed of abuses by victims and their helpers. Oxfordshire Child Safeguarding Board has been fully informed of abuses in specific cases. Thames Valley Police, headed by Chief Constable Sara Thornton, have been informed of the failings of their initial investigations and re-informed of the widespread abuses at OCVC.
Despite the multiple witnesses, corroborating evidence and seriousness of the statements of abuse and sexual abuse, there is the deafening silence of a cover-up by authorities in OCVC and Oxfordshire. The individuals and organisations who should be protecting young people have now battened down the hatches and are waiting for the OCVC scandal to go away. It won’t - just as with Hillsborough, which took 23 years for the truth to come out.
Most serious is the evident complicity of Thames Valley Police TVP in the cover-up. In May 2012 DC Gilks interviewed a vulnerable key witness in front of a third party. Shown statements and talked through abuses Gilks is quoted as saying that “it was the first he had heard of complaints.” In fact TVP had known for over 2 years. When he was informed that OCVC staff had verified abuses of students and tried to protect them, he admitted that “it looked like a cover up.” DC Gilks was also made aware that OCVC staff trying to protect victims had been dismissed on false allegations of ‘abuse of their position of trust’ - an obvious attempt to discredit “whistleblowers.” To his credit Gilks did press for a formal statement, but young victims are wary of a police force they simply don’t trust to protect them.
Recent media reports over Hillsborough have laid bare the ability of the police to lie, change and fabricate evidence and witness statements to hide their own failings. In Hillsborough they were prepared to lie over matters concerning death and physical injury. It should come as no surprise therefore that TVP seem prepared to lie and cover-up their failings in the initial investigation of the more ‘minor’ matter of extreme physical and sexual abuses at OCVC. It should come as no surprise that untrained male officers would ‘visit’ young victims already damaged by their experiences and very fearful of authority.
In South Yorkshire, the fly in the paedophile ointment seems to be the sensitive issue of Asian gangs committing the abuse.
In Oxford, Thames Valley Police have already arrested a large paedophile gang under Operation Bullfinch. Most of the accused were of non-white origin. Strange then, that in a force so pro-active in its actions to root out paedophiles, TVP are doing nothing to fully investigate abusers operating via this prestigious college.
Could their reluctance be the social standing of their partners at OCVC or the Oxford Child Safeguarding Board? Relationships are very close. Could they be ashamed of their blatant failures in their fluffed initial investigations? Could it be some of the OCVC abusers are now police? Or could their real reluctance be that the abusers are white, the victims are white and those ‘blowing the whistle’ on physical and sexual abuse at OCVC are Asian, Muslim and Non-White. A situation contrary to the desired mainstream political agenda and common purpose which seeks to target one community above another.
Whatever the reason, not even detailed reports of white men entering OCVC premises via fire-doors and grooming youngsters with offers of sweets, alcohol and drugs, has been enough to get TVP to act. Never mind youngsters, including females, being asked to perform sexual acts, or shown pornography so damaging they still cannot shift the mental images.
Our good samaritan stepped forward to protect youngsters from abuse. Students have reported that he was vilified and victimised for his bravery. Surely he now deserves massive public support to ensure that a full and independent investigation of the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College cover-up, does finally bring the abusers to justice - whatever their race, colour or faith?
It is understood from friends of ex-students that an employment tribunal is taking place in Reading, where yet more of the truth of OCVC safeguarding issues will emerge.