This must be the last time victims of historic child abuse at childrens’ homes in North Wales should have to tell their harrowing stories.
That’s the hope of one victim, as 18 new arrests have so far been made as part of the Operation Pallial investigation into the scandal.
Keith Gregory, now a Wrexham councillor, is hoping a line can eventually be drawn under the affair and any victims can be allowed to re-build their lives.
Operation Pallial was launched in November 2012.
Headed by National Crime Agency director General Keith Bristow its remit is to re-investigate allegations of abuse in the 1970s and 80s.
In 2000 the Waterhouse Inquiry was established to study abuse claims linked to care homes in the former council areas of Gwynedd and Clwyd since 1974.
Following Waterhouse, eight people were prosecuted and seven were convicted.
But there were concerns the scope of Waterhouse had been too narrow, and as further allegations against other celebrities emerged following Jimmy Savile, there was a mood that Britain had to tackle the dark demon of historic child abuse.
In November 2012 the fresh inquiry into allegations of child abuse in North Wales care homes was launched – Operation Pallial.
The fresh inquiry was partly prompted by an out-pouring of allegations across Britain of historic child abuse triggered by the unconnected Jimmy Savile scandal, with victims claiming the former BBC presenter had abused them.
Since then, more than 230 people have come forward to the Operation Pallial team claim they were the victims of sexual abuse.
Some are connected to the North Wales care home investigation, while others have told of other abuse.
In total, the inquiry has been asked to look into the names or part names of around 100 alleged offenders.
All are subject to further investigation at this time, including 24 who are believed to have died.
On the back of information received so far 18 people have now been arrested.
The last of those this month, was an unnamed 76-year-old man from Old Colwyn .
The offences were alleged to have taken place against seven boys, between 1975 and 1983, when they were aged between 8 and 16 years old.
It was the latest in a steady pattern of arrests that repeated itself throughout this year as the inquiry got into full swing.
Cllr Gregory told the Daily Post: “I think the investigation is going brilliantly.
“It is slow, but I don’t expect it to be any different.
“It needs to be done this way, if they do it too fast, then there is the possibility something could be missed.
“There have been 18 arrests and one charged so far and the team are doing a great job and I hope they carry on this good work.
“We now need to give them time to do their work.
“We don’t want this to revisited in 10 years time, we need it done properly so hopefully everybody can move on after.”
After its launch, it was clear Operation Pallial was going to be a long and intensive re-investigation with 105 victims coming forward in the first few weeks, to give their stories of abuse in the care home system.
The first arrest was made in April, which later turned out to be former boss of North Wales children’s homes John Ernest Allen , 71, of Foxglove Avenue, Needham Market, Ipswich.
Last month Allen’s case was mentioned in his absence at Caernarfon Crown Court.
He was initially charged with 32 sex offences, 22 of which include indecent assaults.
After an appearance at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday December 20 he was indicted on 14 further matters.
Allen now faces 11 additional allegations of indecent assault, two offences of buggery and one of rape.
These additional offences allegedly took place against seven boys and one girl, aged between 12 and 15 years old and are believed to have taken place between 1972 and 1991.
Allen was released on bail and will appear at Mold Crown Court on February 7.
Other arrests have included a 62-year-old man, from Mold , last month who was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and child cruelty alleged to have happened against three boys and one girl between 1973 and 1976.
In October detectives arrested a 52-year-old man, from Mold, on suspicion of child cruelty and indecent assault, for alleged offences against four boys and one girl between 1981 and 1988 when they were 13 or 14 years old.
During September a 69 year-old man was arrested in Wrexham on suspicion of child cruelty offences against six boys, between 1975 and 1981, when the boys were aged between nine and 14 years-old.
In August a 62-year-old was also arrested in Wrexham on suspicion of indecent assault on two boys, alleged to have taken place in the 1980s when the boys were 14 and 15 years old.
In July another man from Wrexham – 72-year-old man from – was questioned on suspicion of physical assaults against eight youngsters.
Other arrests for alleged child abuse have taken place in locations across England and Wales including Seaford Sussex, Chester, Leicester, Lancaster and Beeston Nottinghamshire.
Wrexham counselling service Stepping Stones reported they had about 40 people they have worked, or are working with, as a direct result of Pallial, as confidence among victims to tell their stories and be believed has grown.
Cllr Gregory said: “What we are finding is other people are coming forward who have been abused, not necessarily attached to North Wales care homes, even pensioners, because of what is happening.
“The message is for people who may have been victims of abuse to come forward, because the police will believe you.”
Running alongside Operation Pallial, the independent Macur Review was also established by the Government, to review the Waterhouse Inquiry and whether any allegations of child abuse were not investigated