Clerical abuse investigations
02 Apr 2010
The Police Service of Northern Ireland are currently investigating a number of allegations in relation to child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and Religious Orders .
We are currently awaiting guidance from the Northern Ireland Executive on how this issue is going to be addressed at government level.
This guidance from the Executive will help to ensure that our investigative priorities reflect the objectives of any inter-departmental response to this issue, and reflect the statutory responsibilities of a range of agencies responsible for the protection of children, as well as the accompanying critical need to provide a welfare and support service for all victims.
We will provide whatever investigative support is necessary to that inquiry, prioritised against the need to protect children from current and future risks.
The Police Service will play its part in bringing to justice those found to be involved in child sex abuse but is mindful that the most effective response to this issue lies within a co-ordinated effort amongst statutory and support agencies to address these most serious of allegations.
In light of the number and nature of recent allegations the Police Service will set up a dedicated investigation team under its Serious Crime Branch. It is anticipated that the team will take over these investigations from Saturday 1 May. Until that time all reports of child sex abuse will continue to be investigated by, and should be reported to, District Public Protection Units.