The Misery of False Allegations

A report on the FACT (Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers) Spring Conference, held in May. Barbara Hewson looks at the background to false allegations – why they are made, and the part false memory can play in them. 

After lunch, the radio presenter and retired schoolmaster Simon Warr gave an electrifying address about his own experience of being arrested, charged and finally acquitted of allegations of historic abuse. He stated that post-Savile: ‘Here in the UK we are in the face of a firestorm of historical child abuse allegations.’ See here for Simon Warr’s account.

Warr said he had lost faith in many things: in the presumption of innocence; in a system which can keep an accused’s life on hold for two years, while the police trawled for other complainants, and in the police themselves, who exhibit confirmation bias instead of investigating with an open mind. He noted that the police like to target educated professional people, as they are more disposed to cooperate and answer questions. He said that the compensation culture is largely to blame for false allegations. He called for accused persons to be treated fairly and justly.


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