Safeguarding News June 2018
Welcome to SAFEcic's round up of safeguarding news for June 2018.
The new and long awaited Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 is now launched.
It is issued by law; you must follow it unless there's a good reason not to.
Legislation and Bills
The Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 21 June 2018 following the blocking of a private members Bill by one objection.
The Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill legislates for the highly intrusive practice known as upskirting.
Reports, Reviews, Research and Inquiries
1. A Serious Case review has been published by Kent Safeguarding Children Board on 5 month old who died in Kent April 2016.
Jamie was the youngest of eight siblings, seven of whom were under 11 and lived in the same, overcrowded home. Initially this was with Jamie’s Mother and Father, but in August 2015, shortly before Jamie was born, Mother and Father separated, and Mother started a new relationship.
This was a large family of young children living in cramped conditions. The children sustained unexplained injuries, thought to be from lack of supervision or because of unaddressed safety risks. These injuries were not always attended to appropriately. Although there were appropriate questions as to whether such injuries may have resulted from physical abuse, this was not substantiated; they were seen to probably arise from neglect of supervision or caused by the children themselves. Health or developmental needs, health appointments or immunisations were not attended to. The children were, at times, unkempt, dirty, inappropriately or poorly dressed, smelly and had untreated head-lice; these were denied by the parents, or claims were made that they had been attended to, when they had not been.
There were concerns about domestic abuse (initiated by both parents). Its emotional impact on the children was denied, despite evidence that the children were aware of it and upset by it. There were also suggestions of alcohol or drug use, including alleged dealing, these were also denied.
2. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) published the outcome of its review of rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO) cases. In January the CPS announced its senior prosecutors were assessing all cases in England and Wales in which someone had been charged with rape or serious sexual assault. More than 3,600 cases were looked at to ensure that disclosure was being managed effectively.
Worthy of Note
1. Since Europol launched its newest crowdsourcing campaign, Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object, exactly one year ago you have sent Europol almost 21 000 leads. These leads mean that law enforcement all over the world is thousands of steps closer to saving children from abusive situations or exploitation. Europol want to give you a big heartfelt thank you for your contributions! Europol’s Executive Director Catherine De Bolle: "It is the first time that we have used the wisdom of the general public to try to safeguard children from abuse and exploitation. With 21 000 tips and several ongoing investigations, this excellent result encourages them to incessantly continue their efforts to keep our children safe. I would like to thank every single person that took the effort of sending us information."
In the past year 119 objects taken from the background of images of child sexual abuse have been published on Europol’s website. Whether a regular, caring citizen or an online community working together, you have provided almost 21 000 tips on the origins of those objects.
2.The Prince of Wales has been asked to give a witness statement to a public inquiry about a paedophile bishop convicted and jailed for abusing young men.
Prince Charles has been approached by lawyers acting for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which is investigating the disgraced bishop Peter Ball.
The former bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester was sent to prison for 32 months in 2015 after he admitted abusing 18 teenagers and young men between the 1970s and 1990s.
His abuse was first reported to the police in 1992 but charges were not brought and instead Ball accepted a caution and resigned.
3.Baroness Newlove, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, is calling on the government to get tough on perpetrators of domestic abuse. She is recommending that high risk domestic abuse offenders be placed on a ‘Domestic Abuse Register’ and that where a perpetrator has been convicted of a domestic abuse offence, the presumption of shared parenting to be reversed.
4. Our membership of the EU is coming to an end and with it the EU’s mechanisms for protecting rights specific to children. Under Article 24 of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, children have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. Their views must be taken into account on matters concerning them and their best interest must be a primary consideration in any action taken relating to them. These principles form the core of my work as Children’s Commissioner: that children are protected, cared for, heard and that their best interests should be the primary concern when decisions are made. As we leave the EU, it is important that these rights are retained and not tossed away.
5. One in four teenage mystery shoppers were able to buy knives from high street retailers in 2017 without proof of age being requested, a leading retail age check company has said. Serve Legal said it undertook 2,350 knife sale visits across the UK last year and 26% of sales went unchallenged.
“This comes despite the fact that prominent retailers have signed the government’s voluntary agreement on underage knife sales,” the company said.It pointed out that selling a knife, blade or axe to a person under the age of 18 years is illegal in England and Wales, while in Scotland the law allows those aged 16 and over to buy kitchen knives.
All young people attempting to buy a knife should be asked to show official identification such as a passport, photocard driving licence or PASS-accredited (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) identification, Serve Legal said.
6. The Child Accident Prevention Trust brought to our attention to the danger on the changing mat. Young babies under six months are at greatest risk of suffocation from nappy sacks. This is because they naturally grasp things and pull them to their mouths, but then find it difficult to let go.
However, suffocation is not the only risk - choking can also happen if a baby inhales a bag.
Always keep nappy sacks well out of reach of babies and never put them in a cot, pram or buggy.
Babies and young children don't have the control that adults have over their bodies. They can wriggle and squirm but it is harder for them to move out of a dangerous situation.
7. Tusla – Child and Family Agency has identified at least 126 instances of incorrect registrations of birth in the records of St Patrick’s Guild. The registrations in question relate to births between 1946 and 1969 and were discovered as a result of Tusla proactively undertaking significant work to scan St Patrick’s Guild records and identify instances of incorrect registrations.
8. The Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd (ADCS) President Stuart Gallimore, has said:
“Children and young people living in children’s homes are vulnerable and some can present with very difficult behaviours that may require the use of restraint, but only as a last resort. Keeping children and young people safe from harm is all about assessing risk and steps should always be taken to avoid the need to use restrictive physical intervention, wherever possible. Any staff working directly with children in children’s homes should be trained in the safe use of restraint and are permitted to use this to protect a child or others from harm.”
And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding
1. A man has been jailed for nine months after National Crime Agency officers found more than 15,000 pictures and videos of child sex abuse on his computers. Tony Aslett, aged 52, pleaded guilty to seven counts of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Kingston Crown Court.
Some of the victims in his collection appeared to be as young as 18 months old. Aslett was arrested at Buckingham Palace, where he worked as a visitor services warden, on 27 April 2015.
2. A teacher has been permanently banned from the classroom after admitting engaging in sexual activity with an apprentice while teaching in Harwich.
Stuart Alston, 31, is prohibited from teaching indefinitely following a professional conduct panel meeting in Coventry.
The hearing heard that while employed as a teacher at Harwich and Dovercourt High School in or around 2016, he engaged in sexual activity with an apprentice at the school and lied about when asked by staff members.
The hearing also heard that when he worked as a teacher at Sudbury Upper School, in or around 2011, he engaged in inappropriate behaviour with three pupils.
Allegations he had a romantic relationship with one pupil and kissed two others were found to be proven by the panel.
The panel further found proven that Alston provided inaccurate information on his application form when applying for the job at Harwich and Dovercourt High School.
He had also failed to declare, when applying for an Newly Qualified Teacher position at St Paul’s Academy in London in July 2012, that he had been the subject of a child protection concern.
4. A gang of eight men have been jailed for grooming and sexually assaulting teenage girls in Oxford.
The offences took place in Oxford between 1998 and 2005 and involved six vulnerable female victims, who were all aged between 13 and 17 at the time of the offences.
The men set out to groom some of the victims, initially befriending them and building trust.
Some of the victims were given lifts and taken to parties, as well as being given alcohol and drugs. Over time, the victims were subjected to a series of
indecent assaults and rapes.
5. Bible Society fined £100,000 after security failings put supporters’ personal data at risk. The British and Foreign Bible Society, based in Swindon, has been fined £100,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office, after their computer network was compromised as the result of a cyber-attack in 2016.
6. A former priest who spoke of his sexual interest in babies has been jailed after a National Crime Agency investigation.
Edmund Black, 44, was jailed for 31 months after admitting two counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting the distribution of indecent imagesof children, and one count of making indecent images of children.
Between September 2015 and March 2018 Black was present in online conference rooms 18 times when child sex abuse was being shown.
In May 2016 he hosted one of the conference rooms where nine videos were played showing horrific abuse of very young children – one thought to be just three-months-old. No live abuse was shown. The videos were known to investigators and safeguarding of the children had previously been done.
7. A London-based nurse has been convicted of heading up a criminal network that subjected vulnerable Nigerian women to voodoo rituals before trafficking them to Europe and forcing them into sex work.
Her conviction is the first successful prosecution of a British national for offences committed overseas under the Modern Slavery Act.
Josephine Iyamu, 51, denied trafficking five women from Nigeria to Germany and exploiting them for prostitution. However, following a ten week trial, a jury at Birmingham Crown Court today (28 June 2018) convicted her of modern slavery offences and perverting the course of justice.
8.The BBC have highlighted a report from the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies warning of the "stigma" felt by elderly people about being cheated, including online scams.
It warns that the over-65s are three times more likely to lose money to fraudsters than to be burgled.
Fraud victim, Dolores Walker, aged 93, said it made her feel "ashamed".
She said she spoke to no-one "about my experience with scammers", in which she had been tricked into giving card details.
"In the end, I just stopped answering the phone altogether in the hope that they would leave me alone."
The report, from the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth and elderly helpline Reassura, says the increase in elderly people using the internet has brought more risks of fraud.
Comparitech have produce a list of “70+ Scams and How to Avoid Them” In the introduction to the list they say:
“The internet is the most widely used communication network ever constructed. It’s used by millions of humans and machines every second of every day. There are good and bad things happening on the internet, and among the bad things are ongoing attempts to scam innocent people out of their money or identities.
Indeed, wherever there’s a slight opportunity of making some easy money, you can be sure that criminals lay ready to pounce. The internet brings with it many such opportunities, and fraudsters appear to be waiting around every virtual corner with the latest in online scams.
While some scams have gotten very sophisticated, even some of the older, less advanced plays still actually work. If people know more about the types of scams taking place and what to look out for, we can hopefully save at least some people from getting swindled out their hard-earned cash.
We’ve covered some specific types of scams in various dedicated posts, but here we’ll offer a roundup of many of the scams currently in operation.
If you would like to know more about SAFE please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The SAFE Team