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 […]

Education staff – concerns about reporting FGM

Interesting to see results of a recently published survey of members of The Association of Teachers and Lecturers looking at child protection and safeguarding of pupils and students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The survey highlighted that 31% were concerned about reporting female genital mutilation (FGM), ‘honour- based’ abuse or child abuse linked to faith or belief, because they lacked confidence in their own judgement. Significantly, 29% had not been given information or training to identify and report FGM. […]

‘Sexting epidemic amongst Britain’s youth’?

Recent publicity has drawn attention to the national problem of youth produced sexual imagery – often referred to as ‘sexting’. It has highlighted that this is very much a child protection concern requiring  better guidance and education to reflect the issue’s prevalence and use of new technology. Freedom of Information Act data has indicated involvement of children as young as seven, as well as almost 3,500 police investigations nationally,  involving children under 18, in the past 4 years. Facebook and […]

Sexual Communications with Children – Indecent Images of Children

On 3rd April a new law came into force under ‘Section 67 Serious Crime Act 2015’ which inserts a new offence into ‘Section 15A Sexual Offences Act 2003’ relating to sexual communication with a child. Any adult found guilty of this offence could face up to 2 years imprisonment and automatic inclusion on the sex offenders register. Until now those adults suspected of grooming a child could only face prosecution when they met with a child, with any preceding sexual […]

The Importance of Safeguarding Training in Education

It is very disappointing to read in the papers today that a school in Shropshire has been put into special measures following an Ofsted inspection which identified that there were weaknesses in its safeguarding systems and that staff did not understand how to keep pupils safe. High Quality Safeguarding Training in Education is so Important The importance of high quality safeguarding training cannot be overstated – not simply for the purposes of Ofsted inspections but because well trained members of […]

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

In the last month there have been significant developments in the ‘Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’, led by professor Alexis Jay, beginning with the first public hearings into specific aspects of the inquiry. Following problems and setbacks resulting from the resignation of previous chairs of the inquiry and internal discord between senior staff resulting in further resignations, the inquiry should at last start to focus on the reason for which it was set up. Historic Child Sex Abuse Hopefully […]