Child sex abuse: There could be hundreds of thousands of victims reveals inquiry judge… Tell us something we don’t know!! !!

But the true figures “may be worse” because of systematic “under-recording and mis-recording” by police, Justice Lowell Goddard warned.

Officially launching her inquiry today, the New Zealand High Court judge said although generations of abuse had left “scars” on victims and society, her inquiry “provides an opportunity to expose past failures of institutions to protect children”.

Justice Goddard warned abusers that she will not shy away from investigating abuse in Westminster’s “corridors of power” or naming any VIPs involved. Every government department, public body and 18 religious groups have been ordered not to shred or destroy any documents which may be relevant to her work.

The long-awaited inquiry, which could run until late 2020, was set up by Home Secretary Theresa May last July. It came in response to claims of a top-level cover-up over allegations that a paedophile ring operated in Westminster in the 1980s. It has been hit by delays and controversies including the resignation of the two previous chairwomen because of concerns about their links to the establishment.

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