A CARE home abuse probe is investigating 37 suspects, it was revealed yesterday.
Operation Pallial, a National Crime Agency (NCA) led investigation into allegations of historical abuse in the care system in North Wales, has now seen 255 people come forward with allegations of abuse.
Thirty seven suspects are currently being investigated.
The cost of phase two of the investigation, which is being met by the Home Office to avoid any impact on local policing in North Wales, is currently £727,000.
In an update given to a a Strategic Coordinating Group, Ian Mulcahey, senior investigating officer, said: “The number of people coming forward to report historical allegations of abuse in the care system in North Wales continues to increase.
Up to February 8, 2014, a total of 255 people have reported one or more allegations to us.
“Information given to us by 212 people is under active investigation at this time and has resulted in 37 people being identified as potential suspects.
“Of these, 19 suspects have been arrested and interviewed, three more have voluntarily attended police stations for interview under caution and 12 are believed to have died.
“Efforts to locate three others, one of whom may be abroad, are ongoing.
“To date, the CPS has charged one person with a large number of sexual offences.”
Operation Pallial has been provided with more than 120 names or partial details of individuals suspected of being responsible for physical or sexual abuse and work continues to identify these individuals.
There are, potentially, 61 repeat offenders within this number, of whom around 17 may be dead, but this information requires further investigation for the information to be confirmed or excluded.
The operation began in November 2012 at the request of Mark Polin, Chief Constable of North Wales Police.
Mr Mulcahey added: “It is reassuring to know that individuals have had the confidence to come forward and we will fully investigate all information they are able to provide.
“In cases where people have contacted us but have declined to support further enquiries, we will still ensure they receive any advice and support they need.”
Offences under investigation are believed to have been committed between 1953 and 1995 on boys, girls and young adults aged between six and 19 years old.
A total of 28 care homes in North Wales currently feature in the investigation.