Scottish Kids’ Home Abuse Probe
A SCHOOL for troubled girls is at the centre of a police probe over claims a “punishment room” was used to abuse pupils.
Police moved in to the Good Shepherd Centre – a residential school – after a tip-off from a former worker to the Care Commission watchdogs.
The commission launched their own investigation into the school in Bishopton, Renfrewshire, then called in Strathclyde Police.
An insider said: “Some of the allegations of abuse would make your hair stand on end.
“The kids have reported they were punched, slapped, beaten up and severely restrained in what they described as the punishment room.
“The isolation room, as the staff call it, is supposed to be there to give a child time to cool down. But the children said it was being used to abuse them.
“The Care Commission found evidence of alleged abuse which was bad enough for them to call in the police immediately.
“Maybe it was the Jersey children’s home abuse scandal that triggered the initial letter of complaint from the ex-employee.
“Whatever it was that made them alert the authorities, it has to be a good thing.
“It seems that it has been going on for a while. But now the police and other agencies are involved, they will finally put a stop to it.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Strathclyde Police, along with the local authority and the Care Commission, are currently making inquiries in respect of the Good Shepherd.
“Inquiries are at a very early stage.”
Care Commission director of children’s services regulation Ronnie Hill said: “We received an anonymous complaint regarding the Good Shepherd in February.
“During our investigation, we became aware of other issues which were promptly raised with police, Renfrewshire Council and other related agencies.
“As this is now the subject of a police investigation, it is inappropriate for us to comment further.”
The Good Shepherd is run independently by a management committee in a building and grounds owned by the Catholic Church. There are 54 girls and 200 staff.
In a statement, the management said: “The management of the Good Shepherd Centre … are proud of their record in creating an environment where young people with complex social, emotional and care issues can have their needs met.
“An anonymous complaint was received by the Care Commission in February and was investigated.
“This investigation refuted many aspects of the complaint.
“The Care Commission, however, passed part of the complaint to Renfewshire Council, who are to investigate more fully in conjunction with Strathclyde Police.
“The managers, senior staff and young people are co-operating fully with this process.”
Police investigating the Haut de la Garenne care home scandal in Jersey unearthed a secret underground “punishment room” in the cellars where scores of people allege they were abused.