React to Concerns – Don’t rely wholly upon DBS results !

Last month saw the jailing of Brighton bus driver, Mark Spalding who pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court to sexually abuse against eight females whilst at work. Mr Spalding was described by a Detective who worked on the case as “a predatory sex offender who took advantage of his access to young women and vulnerable girls”. The case is a salient reminder that a DBS check is not a foolproof system. It is important for employers and colleagues to remain […]

Elder Abuse – Hate Crime?

Action on Elder Abuse is campaigning to make the abuse and neglect of older people a specific crime. The Association is calling for such crimes to be considered an aggravated offence with statutory minimum sentences for perpetrators in line with other ‘hate’ crimes. This would include physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse as well as neglect. Analysis by Action on Elder Abuse found that in 2015/16 only 0.7% (3012) of the estimated 413,500 crimes against those over 65 in England […]

New Offence to Tackle Child Groomers

The government has introduced a new law this year to deal with groomers who target children through social media and mobile phones. The new offence of sexual communication with a child covers a gap in existing legislation to ensure better protection for children. Those found guilty face a term of imprisonment and automatic placement on the sex offenders register. In an age of social media and mobile phones, children are increasingly vulnerable to those who seek too exploit them. The […]

On-line v Face to face Training

Over the past few years we have seen an explosion in companies offering e-learning packages and it is easy to see why at first glance these may seem attractive; but can such courses take the place of traditional style learning? The answer as far as we at Safeguarding Strategies are concerned is an emphatic NO. How many employers who advocate such training methods as acceptable would be happy for their children to receive their education in this way? Or, how […]

Serious Case Reviews – Are they effective?

The serious case review (SCR) into the death of Noah Serra-Morrison aged 13 months has been published in the last few days. Noah, like many children before him died as a result of multiple injuries sustained over a prolonged period, inflicted within his immediate family environment by his mother’s violent partner. It is no surprise to those of us who have dealt with many similar cases that the SCR found deficiencies in the workings of those professionals who were tasked […]

Modern Slavery and Trafficking – New Prevention and Risk Orders

Modern slavery encompasses human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. Part 2 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduces 2 new civil orders: Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders (STPOs) and Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders (STROs). The police, the National Crime Agency, immigration officers and labour abuse prevention officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority can apply to court for these orders, which allow the courts to place a range of restrictions on the behaviour and activities […]

What is Safeguarding

There is a lot of talk about safeguarding these days but what does this term actually mean?  Safeguarding is more than the processes which are activated when abuse of the vulnerable is identified or suspected.  In essence it is a raft of measures implemented across all of the different agencies and organisations designed to keep those who are vulnerable, safe from harm and to allow them to thrive and enjoy a good quality of life. There is a firm emphasis […]

Child Sexual Exploitation – BBC drama Three Girls

For professionals and anybody with an interest in safeguarding, the recently screened BBC drama ‘Three Girls’ was essential viewing. Child Sexual Exploitation has emerged as a significant child protection issue in recent years, albeit as this excellent series of programmes demonstrated, the problem has been festering for much longer. The story focuses on the scandal surrounding the sexual abuse of teenage girls in Rochdale – and the authorities’ initial failure to protect them. The investigation exposed the sexual grooming, mostly […]

Child Homicide – Disparity in Sentencing

We hear in the media of the conviction of Robert Hinz, aged 34 in relation to the murder in Bournemouth of his 3-month-old son Julien, when he was left alone with him for a very short time. Julien was found to have sustained a fractured skull, a brain injury and a number of fractured ribs. Hinz was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 21 years. Only two weeks ago, Rosalin Baker and Jeffrey Wiltshire were convicted of […]

What gets in the way of professionals reporting abuse?

Occasionally there are instances where professionals will recognise instantly the need to refer a safeguarding concern, however it is our experience that there are many situations when the decision as to whether or not issues need to be addressed cause some consternation. All too often people wrestle with whether or not they will be doing the right thing – that they may be overreacting or worse still that they may be “wrong”. Occasionally professionals choose not to report suspected abuse […]