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Cops to interview 38 inmates

By NALINEE SEELAL Tuesday, July 22 2014

SUPERINTENDENT George Allsop and a team of officers from Western Division are expected to interview 38 boys who are inmates at St Michaelís Home for Boys as part of a police investigation ordered by Ag Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams.

Newsday understands that Superintendent Allsop was given his mandate on the weekend by Deputy Police Commissioner (Crime) Glen Hackett and the official investigation will begin today.

On Saturday Superintendent Allsop went to the St Michaelís Home For Boys amidst reports that files at the Home were being destroyed. However, when officers arrived there, the reports all turned out to be false.

Yesterday DCP Hackett told Newsday he expects to be given briefs on the status of the investigation as it proceeds. Newsday understands several of the boys at the home, who were interviewed by three investigators into allegations of abuse claimed that they were forced to rip their mattresses and use the covering to keep warm after being denied bed sheets.

Some of the boys also claimed that when members of the public donated monies to them they had to justify why they should get the cash, while others claim that when clothing, shoes and personal effects were donated to them, the items were stolen by some staff members who replaced it with old items from their own home.

They added that even access to toilet paper was a problem. The investigators also found instances of monies made available by government being used for other purposes rather, for use of the home.

A report into the alleged abuse has also been handed to the Statutory Authorities Commission led by Steve Alvarez for his own investigation into the matter. The investigation into the St Michaelís Home was carried by Vidya Pooransingh, Director of National Family Services, Candice Wallace-Henry Child Development Specialist, and Owen Hender, Senior Policy Adviser.

The three were given access to the 38 boys at the Home and were privy to documents and other pieces of information which led to the compilation of a report into the allegations of alleged abuse and alleged financial impropriety at the St Michaelís Home for Boys. The report was first made available to Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Clifton De Coteau who passed on a copy to the Statutory Authorities Commission and the Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. Newsday understands that Minister De Coteau will meet with the Board and Management of the St Michaelís Home tomorrow.

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