Operation Seabrook - Medomsley Detention Centre


​‘Operation Seabrook’ is the criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by staff against detainees at Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett, County Durham.


It was launched in August 2013 and is investigating incidents which happened over many years, principally the 1970s and 1980s. 


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  operation.seabrook@durham.pnn.police.uk


11 men to face no further action while six remain under investigation
ELEVEN men who were under investigation following allegations of abuse at a former detention centre are to face no further action.

The men were being investigated as part of Operation Seabrook – Durham Constabulary’s long-running investigation into allegations of abuse at the former Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett.

Following an extensive police investigation, and after consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the 11 men will face no further action as, due to the evidence available, there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

A further six men will remain under investigation for physical and sexual abuse offences. They are all former prison officers.

Seven former prison officers who have been charged with abusing young men at the centre are due to go on trial.

Christopher Onslow, 72, denies charges of misconduct in a public office, physical abuse and sexual offences. His trial will be held in September.

John McGee, 74, Brian Johnson Greenwell, 71, and Neil Sowerby, 61, also deny charges of misconduct in a public office, physical abuse and sexual offences. They will go on trial in November.

David McClure, 62, Alan Bramley, 69, and Kevin Blakely, 66, face charges of misconduct in public office and physical abuse only. They have all denied the charges and will appear at court in February for trial.

Operation Seabrook was launched in August 2013 and is one of the largest investigations of its kind in the UK.

So far, more than 1,630 men have contacted the Operation Seabrook team to report allegations of either sexual or physical assaults while detained at Medomsley from the 1960s to when the centre closed in 1988.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, said: “Operation Seabrook has now entered its sixth year. It continues to be a long and complex investigation and one which we, and the CPS, remain committed in moving forward.

“I would like to reassure victims and survivors that they are at the heart of everything we do. Professional support has been offered to anyone who needs help.

“Anyone who believes they are a victim and has not already contacted the police should call us on 101 or email operation.seabrook@durham.pnn.police.uk
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. 
Durham Constabulary continues to work with various organisations to provide the best possible support for victims. Access to support is available without the need to contact the police for those who feel unable to do so.



 Independent Psychotherapist Zoe Lodrick




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




National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children                                                                                    0808 800 5000
The helpline is available for anyone who has concerns about a child or anyone including adults who wish to discuss their own experience of abuse as a child or young person.
Contact can also be made via e mail : help@nspcc.org.uk  or by text 88858
Contact can be made anonymously if the caller so wishes.
Freephone from all landlines and mobile networks 0808 801 0331.
Calls do not show on your bill; lines are open 10am to 9pm Monday - Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday. NAPAC is unable to take messages or ring back. 
The Meadows:
0191 372 9202
he Meadows will accept calls between the hours of 9am-3.30 pm Monday to Friday and can arrange one-to-one counselling sessions and can make referrals to similar centres throughout the UK.



Counselling does not involve discussing what has happened in relation to the assault, it aims to help you work through your feelings to aid the healing process.
Staff at the Meadows will not contact the police without your consent unless there are current concerns in respect of a child or vulnerable adult.