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An investigation into allegations of abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, which closed in 1988, was launched by Durham Constabulary in August 2013.

Named Operation Seabrook, it is now one of the largest investigations of its kind in the UK and is supported by a dedicated team of officers.

So far, 1,848 men have come forward to police to report allegations of abuse while detained at the centre.

The three main aims of the investigation are: 

  • To ensure support is provided for victims so they are in a better place after contacting the police    
  • To gain the fullest understanding of how Medomsley operated during those years 
  • To secure evidence so that any potential offenders are brought to justice.

Anyone needing to make contact with the team in writing can email

October 15, 2020: An update for all survivors and victims from Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green: 

Once again as Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Seabrook I would like to update you on the very recent developments regarding the impending criminal proceedings against the two remaining defendants Alexander Flavell and Ian Nicholson. As you may already be aware their trial was listed for November 23, 2020. 

Given the current situation, Judge Crowson has taken the view the trial would be unworkable due to the number of parties required in one courtroom and the length of time required for the evidence to be heard. As a matter of safety for all concerned the trial has been postponed until the October 18, 2021. 

I appreciate this delay will be disappointing for many victims/survivors still seeking closure and would again like to thank you for your continued patience and support to date but we would not want a trial that risks peoples health or has to be stopped half way through.

The investigation team are committed and will remain in place and we will of course keep you updated.  

Important: If you are a victim and your contact details have changed, for example, you have moved house or have a new phone number then please email the Seabrook team or call them via 101 so they can update their records. 

The following organisations can be contacted independently of the police for support: 

NSPCC - National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Call: 0808 800 5000

NAPAC - National Association for People Abused in Childhood
Call: 0808 801 0331

The Meadows - The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Darlington and Co Durham)
Call: 03333 448283 / 0191 375 2933