Gallagher, Bernard (1998) Grappling with smoke: investigating and managing organised child sexual abuse: a good practice guide. Policy Practice Research Series . NSPCC, London, UK. ISBN 9780902498839

There has been, and remains, a great deal of concern among policy makers, practitioners, the media and members of the public concerning organised child sexual abuse (OCSA).
OCSA includes the following types of case:
• Child sexual abuse (CSA) by multiple offenders (a small proportion of these cases may also involve allegations of ritual or satanic CSA)
• Sex offenders who abuse a series of children
• Sex offenders who abuse children with whom they work
The study described in this research report* involved the following:
• A postal questionnaire survey carried out among police child protection teams and children’s services departments, and selected NSPCC projects. (Information was obtained on 51 OCSA cases.)
• Interviews with agency workers concerning specific cases of OCSA that they had investigated or managed. These interviewees comprised police officers, social workers and staff from voluntary agencies/NGOs, including the NSPCC. Interviews were carried out with 30 agency workers.
• Interviews with agency workers who had either more specialist knowledge of OCSA cases or who could provide input on the broader aspects of investigating and managing OCSA. Interviews were carried out with 13 agency workers.
All of the above work was carried out in London in 1995 and 1996. It was funded by the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).
The research report contains numerous findings on the special issues that arise in the investigation and management of OCSA cases. It also makes a whole series or recommendations as to how practitioners should respond to these cases. The research report addresses work in the following areas: Area Child Protection Committees [now superseded by Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards]; the handling of OCSA in general; and then the specific issues that arise in terms of the roles of the police, children’s services departments, the NSPCC, the criminal justice system, the Prison Service, Customs and Excise, other ACPC agencies (health, education and probation) and voluntary agencies/NGOs.
This work remains one of the few studies of OCSA.

*Gallagher, B. (1998) Grappling with Smoke. Investigating and Managing Organised Child Sexual Abuse: A Good Practice Guide. London: NSPCC

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