The Metropolitan police have ended their investigation into the failed south London charity Kids Company, saying they found "no evidence of criminality" and no "failings by the charity in respect of them carrying out their duty to safeguard children or vulnerable adults".
"Through the course of their inquiries, detectives from the Serious Complex Case Team of the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command identified 32 pieces of information or intelligence relating to a period between 2008 and 2015, the force said in a statement on Thursday. "These reports concerned allegations or information relating to children and staff based at the charity. However, the majority were third-party reports which were vague in detail."
The Met said officers "carried out detailed and extensive inquiries to establish the veracity of the information", but "no one was arrested or interviewed under caution in connection with the investigation".
The force found one "incident which had previously been investigated by police and resulted in a male adult service user of the charity receiving a three-month suspended sentence for assaulting a member of staff", but aside from this, found "no evidence of criminality within the 32 reports which would reach the threshold to justify a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service".
The statement concluded: "As such the Met investigation into potential physical and sexual abuse has now concluded, although, as with any investigation, should any further information come to light it will be fully considered."
Should anyone have further information they wish to pass on to the investigation team they are asked to call 020 8217 6538 or the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.
In July last year, BuzzFeed News and BBC Newsnight were approached by a former staff member at the charity who said she had been involved in a failure to notify the authorities of allegations of rape and that she knew about complaints to staff from older clients.
BuzzFeed News and Newsnight were also told about an incident in which a staff member was said to have been knocked unconscious by a client in an attack with snooker ball and was encouraged not to press charges by chief executive Camila Batmangelidjh.
After advice had been sought from a child protection expert, both outlets passed on the information to the local authority with relevant child protection responsibilities. Following its investigation, the local authority then escalated the information to New Scotland Yard, which opened a full inquiry.
Batmanghelidjh denied having encouraged the staff member not to press charges, and the charity insisted it had always notified the police of any criminal activity.
She told the BBC: "I'm very grateful to the police for acting honourably and fairly. I now think there needs to be an inquiry into how this situation came about, why was it in the hands of Newsnight and what happened after that and why weren't we properly informed."
Kids Company shut down in August amid scenes of protest in central London. There have been criticisms raised in parliament regarding the government's relationship with the charity. In November the Commons public accounts committee issued a report in which it said a contentious decision to fund the charity in 2015 was "gullible", and that it was "a failed and expensive experiment".
Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Alan White at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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