Devon & Cornwall Police have charged seven with conspiracy to false imprison and conspiracy to ill treat vulnerable adults residing in their homes.

The charges relate to allegations surrounding the treatment of eleven residents at three care homes run by Atlas Project Team Limited namely Veilstone, Gatooma and Teignmead in Devon between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2011.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Royal Mencap Society and Vivien Cooper, chief executive of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, say:

We are deeply concerned by the shocking allegations of abuse of people with a learning disability across a number of services run by the company Atlas. The public were shocked by the scandal at Winterbourne View when it was broadcast on television and it is horrifying to hear that – at the very same time – an abuse scandal of a similar magnitude may have also been happening.

As staff face charges for their alleged involvement, questions must be asked about the role of commissioners, the care regulator (CQC), and senior Atlas staff.  We must send a clear message that abuse and neglect will not be tolerated in our society and that all those involved – from front line staff to the board room – will be held to account.


For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 6950 or

About Mencap

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email

About The Challenging Behaviour Foundation

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation provides information, support and training around challenging behaviour associated with severe learning disabilities, and leads the ‘Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group’ which seeks to influence policy and practice nationally on behalf of individuals who challenge and their families.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation was founded in 1997 by Vivien Cooper, parent of a son with severe learning disabilities and behaviour described as challenging. Today the Challenging Behaviour Foundation is in regular contact with over 5000 families and professionals across the UK. There are an estimated 30,000 individuals in England with severe learning disabilities and behaviour described as challenging.

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