Friday, 5 May 2017

Operation Seabrook - Medomsley Detention Centre


​‘Operation Seabrook’ is the criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by staff against detainees at Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett, County Durham.

It was launched in August 2013 and is investigating incidents which happened over many years, principally the 1970's and 1980's. 

The three main aims of the investigation are:
* to ensure support is provided for victims so they are in a better place after contacting the police    
* to gain the fullest understanding of how Medomsley operated during those years 
* to secure evidence so that any potential offenders are brought to justice.

Anyone needing to make contact with the team in writing can email

The 'Seabrook' team has now heard from more than 1,350 former inmates at Medomsley who have reported they were abused while detained at the centre.
All of the surviving main suspects - 31 in total - have been identified, interviewed and prosecution files submitted to the CPS for advice.  This advice will then identify those individuals who are likely to be charged and also which victims or witnesses are likely to give evidence.
Update on the current state of the investigation; May 2017

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman said;

"I am pleased to confirm that we remain on track, working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to establish who will be charged and with what offences, later this year. 

"The commitment of all officers/staff involved continues to ensure the investigation keeps victims/survivors at the ’front’ and ‘centre’ of this complex enquiry, with every effort being made to bring the perpetrators of abuse to justice.

"We now have 1,436 people who have made complaints of various degrees of physical/sexual assault and this number continues to grow.

"As we move closer towards the prospect of charges the momentum for the investigation increases, with many people being contacted/re-contacted to provide additional information in support of a prosecution e.g. identification procedures, additional statements and/or an indication if victims/survivors are willing to attend court.

"This is normal practice and will continue in the coming months.

"Resourcing for the enquiry has not diminished and is constantly reviewed, in line with the investigation strategy.

Detective Chief Insp Steve Chapman (left) - SIO for Op Seabrook. Sergeant Claire Errington remains as the supervisor for the dedicated Seabrook team.  Within the team are co-ordinators who are at hand to help and assist with any issues or concerns peple may have.

Important - If you are a victim and your contact details have changed, for example, you have moved house or have a new phone number then please email the Seabrook team or call them via 101 so they can update their records.

Durham Constabulary continues to work with various organisations to provide the best possible support for victims. Access to support is available without the need to contact the police for those who feel unable to do so.

Independent Psychotherapist Zoe Lodrick


The following organisations can be contacted independently of the police for support .

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children                                                                                    0808 800 5000
The helpline is available for anyone who has concerns about a child or anyone including adults who wish to discuss their own experience of abuse as a child or young person.
Contact can also be made via e mail :  or by text 88858
Contact can be made anonymously if the caller so wishes.

National Association for People Abused in ChildhoodFreephone from all landlines and mobile networks 0808 801 0331.
Calls do not show on your bill; lines are open 10am to 9pm Monday - Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday. NAPAC is unable to take messages or ring back. 

The Meadows:
The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Darlington and Co Durham) 0191 301 8554
The Meadows will accept calls between the hours of 9am-3.30 pm Monday to Friday and can arrange one-to-one counselling sessions and can make referrals to similar centres throughout the UK.

Counselling does not involve discussing what has happened in relation to the assault, it aims to help you work through your feelings to aid the healing process.
Staff at the Meadows will not contact the police without your consent unless there are current concerns in respect of a child or vulnerable adult.