Safeguarding News July 2019

Dear Colleague

Welcome to SAFE's newsletter with a  roundup of news from July 2019.

Public Training Course Schedule

Safer Recruitment Training 10th September 2019
Child and Young People Safeguarding Training 17th September 2019
Child and Adult Safeguarding Training 25th September 2019
Managing Adult and Child Safeguarding in Your Organisation  8th October 2019
Leading on Safeguarding (Child and Adult) 15th October 2019
Child and Adult Safeguarding 29th October 2019
Safeguarding: Trustees' Legal Responsibilities 7th November 2019
Managing Adult and Child Safeguarding in Your Organisation 14th November 2019
Leading on Safeguarding (Child and Adult) 28th November

A round up of safeguarding news for July 2019

Legislation and Bills


Domestic Abuse Bill 2017-19 The Bill will introduce the first ever government definition of domestic abuse, establish the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders.

Statutory and Non Statutory Guidance

Statutory and Non Statutory Guidance


1. Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers

This will become mandatory in schools in England from September 2020 but schools are being encouraged to make it part of the curriculum from September 2019.

2. Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child's primary school: a guide for parents: Non Statutory Guidance

3. Guidance for schools: Understanding your role in safeguarding girls, engaging parents and teaching about FGM June 2019

4. Reducing the Need for Restraint and Restrictive Intervention: Children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and mental health difficulties in health and social care services and special education settings June 2019. This is for Children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and mental health difficulties in health and social care services and special education settings

5. So-Called Honour-Based Abuse and Forced Marriage Legal Guidance updated July 2019
Breast-ironing should be prosecuted as a form of child abuse, the CPS says in new guidance published today for England and Wales.
The harmful procedure, which involves flattening a girl's chest with a hot stone or other objects to delay breast growth, is often performed by family members to prevent unwanted sexual attention.
Charities have estimated 1,000 girls in the UK have been affected by the practice, which doctors say can cause breast cancer, scarring, infections, breastfeeding problems, and psychological trauma.
Now CPS legal guidance makes clear to police and prosecutors that breast-ironing is a crime that can be caught under existing law, even if it is said that the victim has consented.

6. Guidance for charities with a connection to a non-charity 2019
If your charity has a close relationship with a non-charitable organisation - such as its founder, trading subsidiary, or a regular partner - you must manage the connection in your charity's best interests and protect its independence. You need to plan for the risks as well as the benefits that the connection can bring.
The new guidance for charities with a connection to a non-charity will help you to do this. It draws together relevant law and practice, setting out 6 principles to help trustees run and review these connections.

Research, terms of reference, codes of conduct, toolkits etc.

Childhood vulnerability in England 2019

Worthy of Note

1. A woman who kept a vulnerable older woman captive and stole her pension money has been found guilty of slavery offences.
Maria Miller, 64, exploited the woman, who was in her 70s, after encouraging her to come and live with her at her Chingford home. Miller manipulated the victim to perform chores in both the charity shop she ran and in her home. She also sent the victim on the streets to collect money for her charity whilst she was emptying the victim's bank account.
On other occasions Miller locked the victim out of the home so that she would go to the toilet in the garden, sleep outside in the shed and eat cat and dog food when she got hungry.
On Friday 21 June Miller was convicted of holding a person in slavery or servitude and theft following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
Richard Heatley, from CPS London North, said: "This was an appalling case of modern slavery where a kind and vulnerable woman was manipulated and exploited for a number of years.
"The victim thought she was helping her friend with chores and charity work but in actual fact she was being exploited in the most appalling way.
"Miller denied any wrongdoing and said that she had taken control of the victim's finances because otherwise the victim would hand her money out to strangers she just met.
"Modern slavery has a devastating, lasting impact on its victims. The CPS is working in partnership with the police and other criminal justice partners to build robust cases and deliver justice for victims."
Miller befriended the woman who was a volunteer at the cat orphanage she ran. The victim did not realise she was being ill-treated for some years and put up with it because she enjoyed working with the animals at the charity shelter.
The alarm was raised with social services more than seven years later when the victim ran away from the home in Chingford for the third time and sought help from a friend.

2. Domestic abuse charity Refuge has been awarded a grant to operate a vital helpline to provide confidential advice for domestic abuse victims.
Refuge has been awarded more than £1.2 million to run the National Domestic Violence Helpline, a free service which provides confidential information and expert support to people affected by domestic abuse.
The service is free to call on 0808 2000 247. It is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by a dedicated team of experts.
As well as getting support, staff can help victims access refuge accommodation and other specialist services.

3. 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.
Asphyxia (which also includes choking and strangulation) is the third most common cause of child accident deaths in the UK. Most of these accidents happen to children under 5.
It takes just a few minutes for a baby to suffocate, and they are too weak to move themselves out of a position where they can't breathe.

4. The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced forces across the UK will have access to new tools, which will speed up investigations of online child abuse and limit the number of indecent images of children (IIOC) police officers have to view.
CAID is a single database of IIOC which enables UK law enforcement to work collaboratively to safeguard children and bring people to justice.
The new tools to be phased in following successful trials are:

  • a fast-forensic tool to rapidly analyse seized devices and find images already known to law enforcement
  • an image categorisation algorithm to assist officers to identify and categorise the severity of illegal imagery
  • a capability to detect images with matching scenes to help identify children in indecent images in order to safeguard victims

5. The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, has long-called for a home education register but warns that the current plans do not go far enough in protecting children and making sure they get a high-quality education.
It is urging the Department to rethink its proposals and grant councils the funding and powers to be able to enter homes or premises where a child is being home-schooled and speak to them.
There are an estimated 57,873 home-educated children across 152 local authorities in England, according to a survey by the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS).

6. In 2018/19, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) conducted a joint inspection, The poor relation: The police and CPS response to crimes against older people 2019  of how the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) respond to crimes against older people. A further report Crimes against older people is also available
The UK has an ageing population. Although older people are not by definition vulnerable, studies show that older people, as a group, are more likely to be affected by the physical and mental challenges of attending court to give evidence. Older people are also more likely to fear being the victims of crime than people in other age groups.
As a result, in 2017, the then Home Secretary commissioned an inspection to establish the nature and extent of problems affecting older people within the criminal justice system, and how well these are understood by the police and CPS. This commission was to specifically focus on crimes of abuse and exploitation (including financial).

7. The man known as 'Nick', whose false child abuse allegations sparked a £2million investigation into a VIP paedophile ring, faces a lengthy jail term after the CPS proved him to be a serial liar and a fraud.
Carl Beech, 51, has been convicted of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice after telling police he was among many victims of high-profile establishment figures who raped and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s.
The former CQC inspector and school governor - who also fraudulently received £22,000 in compensation for abuse that never happened - was eventually exposed as a paedophile himself after indecent images were found on his electronic devices.

And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding

1. A man has admitted 49 charges including sexually abusing a seven-year-old girl and possessing nearly 250,000 indecent images of children.
Konstantinos Hrisos, 63, admitted the raft of charges when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
National Crime Agency (NCA) officers arrested Hrisos, of Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne, in September last year after discovering he had been downloading indecent images of children (IIOC).
Officers searched his home and recovered electronic devices which contained 246,829 abuse images, including 1,040 Category A (the most severe) images and videos, and a further 23,527 prohibited images.
Among Hrisos's sick collection of images were 'upskirt' pictures he had taken in a park of two girls aged approximately five and 12.
During the investigation, NCA officers learnt Hrisos had also been abusing a seven-year-old girl for at least 12 months.
He had taken more than 2,000 images and videos of the victim as he abused her and admitted sexually assaulting her on nearly 30 occasions.
He was remanded into custody and will be sentenced on 6 September.

2. A lodger who killed a 13-year-old girl to stop her from exposing him as a sex abuser has been found guilty of her rape and murder.
Stephen Nicholson, 25, stabbed Lucy McHugh in a "vicious" attack near Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre.
He first raped Lucy, then aged 12, while living at her home, and abused her before her death in last July.
Jurors at Winchester Crown Court found him guilty of three charges of raping Lucy.
He was also convicted of sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl in 2012, who he had taken to the same woodland where Lucy was found dead years later.

3. Alexander Philo-Steele, 36, was convicted of nine counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 and two counts of assault of a child under 13 by penetration following a trial at Kingston Crown Court, which concluded in May.
Today [Thursday, 25 July] he was sentenced to a 14-year extended sentence, comprising a 12-year custodial sentence with an extended period of two years, at the same court.
Philo-Steele advertised his child minding services on a number of websites.

4. Action Fraud has issued warning after bogus traffic wardens steal bank cards. Individuals pretending to be police officers and traffic wardens are targeting members of the public.

  • Increased number of reports to Action Fraud of fraudsters claiming to be police officers or traffic wardens.
  • A number of reports have been linked to elderly and vulnerable victims.

If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.

5. Teams from the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU), Derbyshire Constabulary and the City of London Police carried out targeted strikes on three properties across London last Thursday, (July 11).
The strike action was carried out in relation to a suspected courier fraud scam which targeted elderly victims in the North East, and other parts of the UK and saw three men arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud. Three other men were also interviewed by officers in connection to the offence.

6. A father and son have been convicted for their roles in long-running conspiracy to exploit Eastern European workers they trafficked into the UK.
Victims from the Czech Republic and Slovakia were promised jobs with good pay, but on arrival were housed in poor quality accommodation in Kent and given very little money.
The vulnerable men, often homeless in their own countries, were forced to work up to 36 hours at a time doing hard manual labour, with some going without a day off for years.

7. A Catholic priest has been sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment for sexually abusing two teenage boys at St Joseph's College in Upholland in the 70s and 80s.
Michael Higginbottom, 76, was found guilty of five counts of serious sexual assault and seven counts of indecent assault following a re-trial at Burnley Crown Court.
The first victim came forward to the police in 2016 to report that he had suffered mental, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of Higginbottom between 1978 and 1979. The second victim saw a TV news report on the initial trial in 2017 and recognised the priest as he had also sexually abused him in the mid-1980s.

And Finally

Don't let a scammer enjoy your retirement. Pension scams can be hard to spot. Scammers can be articulate and financially knowledgeable, with credible websites, testimonials and materials that are hard to distinguish from the real thing.
Scammers usually contact people out of the blue via phone, email or text, or even advertise online.
Scammers design attractive offers to persuade you to transfer your pension pot to them (or to release funds from it). It is often then:


  • invested in unusual and high-risk investments like overseas property, renewable energy bonds, forestry, storage units;
  • invested in more conventional products, but within an unnecessarily complex structure which hides multiple fees and high charges; or
  • simply stolen outright.

The warning signs that scam offers often include:

  • Free pension reviews

  • Higher returns - guarantees they can get you better returns on your pension savings

  • Help to release cash from your pension, even though you're under 55 (an offer to release funds before age 55 is highly likely to be a scam).

  • High pressure sales tactics - the scammers may try to pressure you with 'time limited offers' or even send a courier to your door to wait while you sign documents.

  • Unusual investments - which tend to be unregulated and high risk, and may be difficult to sell if you need access to your money.

  • Complicated structures where it isn't clear where your money will end up.

  • Long-term pension investments, which mean it could be several years before you realise something is wrong.

4 simple steps to protect yourself from pension scams

Step 1 - Reject unexpected offers
Step 2 - Check who you're dealing with
Step 3 - Don't be rushed or pressured
Step 4 - Get impartial information or advice

You should seriously consider seeking financial guidance or advice before changing your pension arrangements.

To report a scan visit ActionFraud which also has more useful fraud and scam advice 

If you would like to know more about SAFE please don't hesitate to contact us


The SAFE Team