Wednesday, 6 August 2014

PBCC non-existent safeguarding policy could be hauled into question


Police crime scene tape

A national police group is being set up to explore possible links between child sex abuse probes involving celebrities, elected officials and institutions such as schools and care homes.

Police forces across the UK have been asked for details of their inquiries.

The new body has been created by the Association of Chief Police Officers and will collate and share information, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said.

The group, known as Operation Hydrant, is due to meet in September.

While it will not lead any investigations itself, it will gather information involving well-known figures and organisations such as hospitals, children's homes and Parliament.

Ongoing inquiries

Mr Bailey, who will chair the group, said: "This is likely to involve all police forces in the UK, and we have included Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland in our remit."

There are a number of ongoing inquiries into historical sex crimes, including Operation Pallial, which is looking at claims of abuse in care homes in north Wales and an inquiry into Knowl View school in Rochdale, where the late MP Sir Cyril Smith is said to have preyed on boys.

Operation Yewtree has already seen Rolf Harris and former PR guru Max Clifford jailed for sex crimes.

Javed Khan, chief executive of children's charity Barnardo's, welcomed the announcement.

But he added: "It's now a month since the government ordered an inquiry into historical child sexual abuse. It is deeply worrying that this is not off the ground.

"The government must not drag its heels, so it is critical that they say who will lead the inquiry and what its remit will be."


  1. Readers of this thread might like to look at the Safeguarding policy of St George's Church of England church, Leeds, not far from Fiona and Garth Christie's home Exclusive Brethren meeting at Horsforth, Leeds.


  2. On 10 June this year the Charity Commission announced that it was investigating the Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, the religion’s governing body.

    A spokeswoman for the commission said, “We have opened an operational compliance case on the charity. The Charity Commission's regulatory concern is whether the trustees of the charity have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law and how the charity dealt with risks to the charity and its beneficiaries, including the application of safeguarding policy and procedures.”

    This was probably triggered by the conviction of a member of the congregation for sex offences that took place between 1985 and 1995. No one has suggested that the church condoned the sexual offences, but the suggestion seems to be that it failed in its duty to have adequate safeguarding policies and procedures in place.

    So it seems that adequate safeguarding procedures in a church are a legal requirement, and lack of them can put at risk its charitable status.

    See the article by by Sam Burne James published on 2 July 2014 in the Third Sector Newsletter.

  3. The Charity Commissioners have a lot to say about child safety:


    Extracting just one excerpt from the web page mentioned above:

    Safeguarding is a term which is broader than 'child protection' and relates to the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. Safeguarding is defined in Working together to safeguard children 2013 as: protecting children from maltreatment preventing impairment of children's health and development ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes Trustees of charities which work with vulnerable groups, including children, must always act in their best interests and ensure they take all reasonable steps to prevent harm to them. Having safeguards in place within an organisation not only protects and promotes the welfare of children but also it enhances the confidence of trustees, staff, volunteers, parents/carers and the general public. The necessity to safeguard children applies both to charities working in the UK and other countries where children may face different or additional risks of abuse or exploitation. These safeguards should include a child protection policy and procedures for dealing with issues of concern or abuse. For the purposes of child protection legislation the term 'child' refers to anyone up to the age of 18 years.