BBC panorama exposes evidence of cover-ups of sexual abuse in the cadets

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Empty roadThe BBC’s Panorama programme has undertaken a seven month investigation which has uncovered a pattern of historical abuse in Glasgow, Birmingham and Hertfordshire.

A number of victims have apparently spoken for the first time to the BBC of senior cadet leaders covering up complaints and pressurising families against going to the police.

The Army, Air and Sea cadets are overseen by the Ministry of Defence, and are one of the UK’s largest youth bodies.

It is thought that 282 cases have been reported to the police and 99 volunteers have been dismissed.

Gary Walker is a specialist lawyer at Enable Law and has been representing survivors of childhood abuse for more than 10 years.  Gary says “the details that the BBC has been able to uncover so far are very concerning.  It is vital that both the abuse itself and the extent of any cover-up are fully investigated by the MOD and police.”

“Many of the survivors of abuse to whom I have spoken have talked about how they were unable to talk about what happened for many years as they felt that they wouldn’t be believed or that they could actually be punished for telling anyone.  It is extremely important that the victims are given a voice and that they are able to achieve some form of justice and redress.  If there is evidence of a cover-up then the MOD must stand up and take responsibility for allowing a culture which allowed children to be subjected to such terrible ordeals.”

For more details of Gary’s work, please see our dedicated page