Safeguarding News October 2019

Dear Colleague

Welcome to the Safeguarding News Roundup for October 2019.  We are pleased to announce a new set of dates for our cost-effective, popular public safeguarding courses at our offices in Eye, Suffolk.

A Round up of Safeguarding News for October 2019

National Rural Crime Week of Action was 6th to 13th October The aim of the week was to put the work being done to identify and tackle rural and wildlife crime in the spotlight and encourage more support for the efforts ensure communities across rural Britain are safe and feel safe.

During this year's National Hate Crime Awareness Week, 12th to the 19th October , Fiyaz Mugal, co-chair of the CPS Community Accountability Forum and founder of TellMAMA talked about building trust through tackling hate crime.

Anti-Slavery Day was on the 18th October and the Local Government Association warned that referrals of potential child victims of modern slavery made by councils in England have soared by 800 per cent in five years, The LGA said the spiralling referral rates are being fuelled by an increasing awareness of modern slavery and the growing issue of young people being exploited by county lines drugs gangs, which is putting council services under increasing and significant pressure.



Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, has published a report, Gaming the system which looks at the experiences of children who play games online. The Children's Commissioner's Office commissioned the research company Revealing Reality to speak to groups of children who play online games like FIFA, Fortnite and Roblox about what they love and what worries them about gaming, both to shine a light on their experiences and to inform policy recommendations.
With 93% of children in the UK playing video games, the Children's Commissioner is today calling for new rules to tighten up gambling laws and to address the worries children have expressed about how they feel out of control of their spending on online games.

Statutory Guidance


Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2019 updated October 1st 2019 was updated October 1st 2019

The additions made are on page 46 and say:

"164. The DBS will consider whether to bar the person. Detailed guidance on when to refer to the DBS, and what information must be provided, can be found on GOV.UK.

165. Referrals should be made as soon as possible, and ordinarily on conclusion of an investigation, when an individual is removed from regulated activity. This could include when an individual is suspended, redeployed to work that is not regulated activity, dismissed or when they have resigned. When an allegation is made, an investigation should be carried out to gather enough evidence to establish if it has foundation, and employers should ensure they have sufficient information to meet the referral duty criteria explained in the DBS referral guidance, which can be found on GOV.UK."

England and Wales

All charity trustees have to ensure that their charity prioritises the safety of anyone who comes into contact with their charity. New guidance helps them do this and explains their duties under safeguarding law. It also covers the wider measures they need to take to protect people from harm,

Non Statutory Guidance


The Welsh Government has produced Together we’ll keep children and young people safe- as we rebuild from Covid-19, to remind practitioners working across agencies of their responsibilities to safeguard children and to support them in responding to concerns about children at risk. 

This guide does not deal in detail with arrangements in individual agencies or settings and it should be used with any relevant policy or procedures already in place for the place where you work or volunteer

This guide is primarily for practitioners working with children (up to the age of 18). 

This includes those working in early years, social care, education, health, the police, youth offending and youth, community and family support services (including the third sector) and foster care and residential care. 

The term ‘child’ is used throughout this guide to refer to a child or young person who is up to the age of 18. This is in line with the legal definition of a child as set out in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child also sets out the human rights of every person under the age of 18. Young people have told us through consultations that they do not do not like to be called children and this should be remembered when working with and recording information about young people. 

We know that some services support young people who are over the age of 18 years. Most services will also come into contact with parents or family members as part of their work. This guide does not deal in details with adult safeguarding but a short section on adults at risk is included. 

Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research, Consultations and Inquiries

1.The Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published a report into Ealing Abbey and St Benedict's School.
This is part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study and is within the wider investigation into the Roman Catholic Church. The report contains an update of the Ampleforth and Downside case studies, also part of the English Benedictine Congregation.

2. Six new Case Reviews were published in September 2019

3. Edward Timpson, Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, has written a letter to Gavin Williamson Secretary of State for Education, announcing a national child safeguarding practice review into sudden unexpected infant death (SUDI) in families where the children are considered at risk of harm.

Worthy of note

1. A cab driver has been hailed by police after he saved a woman trafficked into the UK to be prostituted. Tahir Mehmood, a Coventry-based taxi driver, is in line for a police commendation after saving the victim from being forced into the sex trade.Mr Mehmood had been called by Robert Enescu, 26, who wanted the woman to be ferried to a location across the city. During the ride Mr Mehmood's passenger, a married woman that had arrived in the UK four days previously, broke down and revealed she had been lured to the UK on the false promise of a masseuse job and subsequently forced into illegal sex work.Mr Mehmood, a married father of two, immediately called the police. The next day officers raided a brothel in the city to rescue several other suspected sex slaves.

2. The General Medical Council has joined with seven other healthcare professional regulators to publish an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures.
The report covers the 12 months from April 2018 to March 2019 and shows that the GMC received 35 whistleblowing disclosures during that period. This was an increase on the previous year when 23 concerns were raised.
Of the disclosures the majority, 33, were made to the GMC's Fitness to Practise teams.

  • 13 were concluded after an initial assessment being carried out.

  • 15 developed into preliminary or full investigations.

  • Four were not progressed due to insufficient information and no further information being provided.

  • One was closed as the information was already under investigation.

The GMC's Registration and Revalidation teams received the other two concerns. One resulted in advice being given to the discloser and the other was referred to the Fitness to Practise Directorate.
Of all the disclosures received by the GMC, 13 were made by doctors, ten were made by other healthcare professionals and 12 were anonymous. Nine of the 35 disclosures are still going through the investigation process.
"We take any concerns raised with us very seriously, and publishing this report should give people confidence that regulators across healthcare will take action where necessary. "

3. A Family Court judge has published a judgment in relation to a 15-and-a-half year old girl to highlight the resource issues that local authorities face looking after young vulnerable people at risk of harm, describing the problems as 'huge'.
In Dorset Council v A (Residential Placement: Lack of Resources) [2019] EWFC 62 His Honour Judge Dancey, sitting as a section 9 judge, made a care order on 12 August 2019 and on 30 September 2019 a final deprivation of liberty (DOLs) order in respect of the girl, A.
The local authority has been involved with A's family since 2017, the judge said. "Her parents used drugs. Their relationship was violent and abusive. They didn't supervise A properly. She didn't have proper boundaries. For a time A was living with her father. He gave her cigarettes. A said she used and dealt cannabis. A's behaviour went downhill. She often went missing. Social workers were worried that she was at risk of sexual exploitation. They said she was beyond the control of her parents."
In August 2018 the police used their powers to protect A. Her mother agreed to her being voluntarily accommodated in foster placements. However, A found it difficult to comply with the rules in her foster homes and went missing again. She was placed in a residential unit in Shropshire where she was able to get some therapeutic parenting. However, she had to go to hospital a number of times because she was self-harming.
At this point, the judge said, A had been excluded from school and wasn't getting any formal education.
Judge Dancey stressed that the social worker and her team manager ("for whose professionalism and dedication I have the greatest respect") had been working tirelessly with the commissioning team to find a permanent placement for A.
"They had constantly been putting out literally hundreds of enquiries to possible providers around the country to try and find something suitable. It was not that Dorset were unwilling to find or fund a permanent placement. It was simply that nothing could be found," they said.

3. County Lines drug networks have been targeted in a week of coordinated law enforcement activity across the UK, leading to record numbers of more than 700 arrests, 681 people safeguarded, and almost half a million pounds worth of drugs seized.
The targeted activity, co-ordinated by the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC), which is jointly run by the NCA and NPCC, was led by police forces and Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs).
This is the fourth week of intensification since the NCLCC was launched in 2018, which have so far prevented more than 3000 vulnerable people, including children, from being exploited by drug gangs, across the four weeks.

Between 7 and 13 October:

  • 652 men and 91 women were arrested;

  • 389 vulnerable adults and 292 children were engaged for safeguarding purposes;

  • 655 cuckooed addresses were visited

  • 49 'deal lines' were seized;

  • There were 41 referrals to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), which assesses individuals as potential victims of human trafficking/modern slavery;

  • Officers seized cash totalling £183,976

169 weapons were seized including:

  • 12 firearms

  • swords, machetes, an axe, knives, samurai swords, and a crossbow

Significant amounts of drugs were recovered, totalling £426,040:

  • £253,200 worth of Cocaine

  • £100,170 worth of Crack Cocaine

  • £72,670 worth of Heroin

This week of intensification is just one part of the law enforcement response to tackling County Lines, with police forces and ROCUs regularly undertaking activity to target offenders and safeguard victims.

And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding

1. Blind cords or 'silent killers'? An inquest into the death of a toddler who was strangled by a window blind cord heard pleas for action to avert similar tragedies in the future.The coroner urged parents and carers to double check their homes to ensure the 'silent killers' were removed or modified. His warning came after the parents of two-year-old Bryan Saba issued heartfelt calls for steps to be taken to stop any other child dying that way.

2. Jake Cunningham, 26, of Brailes Drive, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, received a six-month jail sentence for extreme pornography on Monday 30 September at Birmingham Crown Court. He received a jail sentence for possessing 17 obscene videos which he had received via Whatsapp, all of which were still available on his Whatsapp account and had not been deleted and two of which were saved on his phone. He also shared two of these videos with at least one other person. The disturbing videos, which featured adults and a child engaged in sexual activity with animals, were recovered by police after he was arrested on an unrelated matter. Cunningham and an accomplice were suspects in a theft case regarding stolen property worth £1,610 from Gymshark and his phone had been seized as part of that investigation. He received 16 months' imprisonment for theft at his sentencing today. Cunningham also received an 18-month prison sentence for possession with intent to supply drugs and a two-month concurrent prison sentence for simple possession of cocaine. His combined prison sentence is two years and 10 months.

3. An automotive engineer has admitted paying two women to sexually abuse children online, after a National Crime Agency investigation. Dean Petley, 30, met the women on an adult services website. He paid one woman, Jodie Little, who called herself 'devil bitch 666', £750 from January 2017 to February 2018 to see her sexually abuse two young children. Little, 30, originally from Huddersfield was jailed in August for 12 years and four months for the crimes. Petley, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, paid the second woman £2,285 over three years to watch her sexually abuse a young girl. In July last year the NCA became aware of Little, who also used the online name 'DomTabooSlut', and began an investigation.

4. A man who repeatedly raped his daughters, fathering six children, has been found guilty at Swansea Crown Court.The offences happened over two decades, during which time he would rape the girls at home, in his car and at other locations. Instructions were received by the girls through what they believed was a psychic app, which was in fact their father instructing them to have sex with him and other men. DNA tests carried out as part of the investigation showed that six children born to one of the daughters were her father's children. Hayley Fackrell, of the CPS said: "These sickening acts of abuse were carried out by a person that was supposed to protect and care for the victims, but instead he systematically controlled their lives, grooming them for his sexual gratification.

5. Benjamin Field carried out a targeted campaign of manipulation against churchgoers Peter Farquhar, 69, and Ann Moore-Martin, 83, who lived doors apart in the picturesque Buckinghamshire village of Maids Moreton. Field, 28, embarked on a relationship with Farquhar, plying him with a disorientating cocktail of drugs and alcohol to make him question his sanity. Field even took part in a marriage-like ceremony with Farquhar and told people his retired former lecturer was an alcoholic who was suffering from dementia. In fact, he was slowly being poisoned by the drugs he was unwittingly taking. Robbie Weber, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS, said: "This highly unusual case reads almost like the plot from a novel but tragically, the intentions of Field were all too real." It was Benjamin Field's intention from the outset to cruelly and ruthlessly manipulate his victims into changing their wills."The campaign to make Mr Farquhar question his own sanity was such a success that when Field killed him in October 2015, even the coroner believed the death was caused by alcoholism. Field also wrote love letters to Miss Moore-Martin and left messages on her mirrors 'from God' telling her to leave him her house.Field has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 36 years at Oxford Crown Court.

And Finally

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) as regulators of healthcare services, medicines and health professionals throughout the UK, recognise the importance of encouraging innovation, improvement and sustainability in care, while ensuring that it meets fundamental standards of quality and safety. Online provision of health and care services challenges the existing regulatory landscape by transforming how care is delivered, where and by whom.
"We know the majority of medicines are prescribed and dispensed safely and appropriately online. However, in some cases people are able to access medicines that are not appropriate for them, or in quantities that their regular GP or other NHS services would not prescribe for them. The impact on people and their families can be catastrophic. Over time, we have become concerned that some providers of online primary care are configuring services in ways that take them out of scope of some or all UK regulators. This means they are not legally subject to the same inspections and safety checks."
A UK-wide cross regulatory forum was established in February 2017. As members, we share information and work together to take a coordinated approach, address regulatory gaps, and help improve the quality and safety of services for people in the UK. We continue to develop our understanding of the benefits and risks of primary care services delivered online, and we work with health and care providers to encourage the use of evidence-based best practice. Members of the forum have specific actions and plans to achieve this:

  • The professional and system regulators are working together with partner organisations to develop shared principles on remote consultations and prescribing to provide support to regulated healthcare providers and professionals.

  • We are also jointly developing information for the public to consider when using online services, to ensure they can access evidence-based, safe and effective care.

  • The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has published updated guidance for pharmacy owners providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet. This includes further safeguards to help make sure that people can only obtain medicines from online pharmacies that are safe and clinically appropriate for them. GPhC inspectors are looking for evidence that the guidance is being followed during pharmacy inspections.

  • The General Medical Council (GMC) has guidance for doctors on remote consultations and prescribing, as well as specific advice on good practice in this area. Later this year GMC plans to launch a call for evidence on whether its prescribing guidance needs to be updated in light of the fast pace of change in remote healthcare services.

  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has inspected all registered online providers in England and published the findings from the first programme of inspections. All registered online providers will now receive a quality rating following inspection. CQC has requested changes to the law to bring online providers into regulation that have so far been out of scope due to their configuration, which means they must be registered with CQC by law.

  • The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) inspects all registered online providers in Northern Ireland. If the online provider is also registered and inspected by another system regulator, RQIA uses the information from the most recent inspection to inform its inspection approach.

  • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has undertaken a sustained public awareness campaign targeting specific audiences about fake medicines. MHRA is working with the Department of Health and Social Care and others to review opioid addiction, including online sales.

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