SAFE Newlsetter: February 2020
Welcome to the latest safeguarding newsletter
with a round up of safeguarding news from February 2020.
COVID-19 is impacting all areas of life at a
global level and the impact on all of us is a constantly changing
landscape. The UK is no exception and here at home we are evolving our
service offerings to ensure safegurading remians a vitally important
area of focus for all organisations. In line with government
recommendations on avoiding non-essential travel, online training is
becoming increasingly necessary and our full suite of
online safeguarding training courses will ensure you meet your
We also provide remote offsite
services for those organisations wanting to take their
safeguarding standards to the higest level. This newsletter also
includes helpful links to the latest government guidance.
The online version of this newsletter is
A Roundup of Safeguarding News From
Violence National Awareness Week was celebrated from the 3rd to the
9th with the message #ITSNOTOK
Internet Day Safer Internet Day 2020 was celebrated globally on the
11th February 2020 with the theme: Together for a better interne and
was accompanied with the
Free to be me report
New research the
UK Safer Internet Centre
(UKCIS) finds that being online is both liberating and limiting for
children and reveals young people’s online experiences are an essential
part of who they are offline, with 38% saying it’s easier to be
themselves online than offline
The internet is creating an informed
and inspired generation that is taking action but some feel pressure to
shape their online identity for others – 62% are careful about what they
share because they’ve seen people be mean
Certain groups are being
targeted with identity-based hate. UKSIC call on people to start
conversations with young people about online identity
England and Wales
Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill [HL] 2019-20
If past it will
increase in age of criminal responsibility In section 50 of the Children
and Young Persons Act 1933 (age of criminal responsibility) for “ten”
Human Trafficking (Child Protection) Bill 2019-21
This Bill makes
provision for the creation of secure safe houses for children that have
been subject to human trafficking; and for connected purposes. No papers
are published at present.
Statutory Guidance and Good Practice Guidance
Childminders: report new adults in the home
tell Ofsted about new people aged 16 or over who live or work in the
home you look after children in within 14 days. This includes children
who turn 16.
Ofsted have to carry out checks to make sure the
children being looked after will be safe in the home they are being
looked after in.
New adults are the following people aged 16 or
• new household members who start to live in the home
• people already living in the home who turn 16
• new people who work
regularly during childcare hours, such as a cleaner
childminders or assistants
You must also tell Ofsted if any of these
people move out or stop working in these roles.
Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research and
Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published its
Westminster report, which finds political institutions have
significantly failed in their responses to allegations of child sexual
abuse for decades.
This includes failing to recognise abuse, turning
a blind eye to it, covering up allegations and actively protecting
high-profile offenders, including politicians.
During three weeks of
public hearings last year, the Inquiry heard from survivors,
whistleblowers, cabinet ministers, MPs and police officers among others.
There has clearly been a significant problem with deference towards
people of public prominence, from the Whips’ offices to the police and
prosecutors, although the investigation found no evidence of an
organised paedophile network at the heart of government.
example, in the 1970s and 1980s, MPs including Sir Cyril Smith and Sir
Peter Morrison were known to be active in their sexual interest in
children, but were protected from prosecution.
former Liberal Party leader Lord Steel said that because allegations
against Smith had arisen before he joined the party, he saw “no reason,
or no locus to go back to [it]”. This failure to recognise the risks was
an abdication of responsibility, and the fact the offences were
non-recent was irrelevant.
Meanwhile, senior officials within the
Conservative party knew about allegations concerning Morrison for years
but did not pass them on to police. Instead, he became Margaret
Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary in 1990 and was knighted a
Victor Montagu, the former MP for South Dorset and 10th
Earl of Sandwich, was let off with a caution after a 10-year-old boy
alleged he had indecently assaulted him. Montagu’s son Robert, who he
also sexually abused for over five years, said the decision not to
prosecute was “entirely wrong and very indicative of the attitude
towards people in public positions”.
The report concludes that these
are examples of a political culture which values its reputation far
higher than the fate of the children involved.
As recently as 2017,
Green Party election candidate Aimee Challenor was able to appoint her
father as election agent, despite the fact that he had been charged with
sexually assaulting a child and was later convicted.
The Inquiry also
investigated the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which campaigned
in the 1970s to lower the age of consent, as well as public acceptance
A number of its members sexually abused children,
including Sir Peter Hayman, a former High Commissioner to Canada. The
report concludes that PIE was given foolish and misguided support for
several years by organisations who should have known better, such as the
National Council for Civil Liberties and the Albany Trust.
makes five recommendations, including ensuring all political parties
have comprehensive safeguarding policies and procedures. It also calls
on the Cabinet Office to re-examine its policy on the posthumous
forfeiture of honours.
2. NSPCC Learning has published a
learning from case review briefing on child sexual abuse. Key
learning identified include: professional curiosity must be displayed in
interactions with families, carers and other practitioners;
professionals need to be able to work within multi-agency frameworks
effectively; professional must ensure there is a child-centred approach.
Worthy of note
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is introducing a new
feature for applicants that apply for their basic check directly to DBS,
using their online application route.
When an individual applies for
their basic check directly to DBS, they will be able to select a
‘Someone else is paying’ option. They will receive an email that
contains a payment link, which can then be forwarded to the person that
is going to be paying for their check. The check can be paid for by
debit or credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
2. Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham
and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Safeguarding in Faith
Settings, has launched
a report calling for Government to close the loophole in the law
that allow adults in ‘positions of trust’ to legally engage in sexual
activity with the young people they are working with
legislation, only certain job roles are designated as a ‘position of
trust’ under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, including teachers and youth
justice workers. As a result, it is against the law for them to engage
in sexual activity with the 16 or 17-year-olds that they supervise.
However, adults working in other settings, such as faith organisations
or sports clubs, do not commit a crime if engage in sexual activity with
children aged 16 or 17 under their supervision, even though adults in
these positions often hold significant power and influence over the
child. This means that in non-statutory settings children are
unnecessarily left more vulnerable to abuse.
The call to change the
law comes with the full backing of many of the major church groups
represented in the UK, including: The Church of England, the Methodist
Church, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service, the United Reformed
Church and others. A change in law is also supported by, the NSPCC, and
a number of professional safeguarding bodies and academics.
3. A Birmingham man who tried to force
his niece into an arranged marriage and threatened her with a
gun when she refused has been jailed for seven years. The 55-year-old
man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced at Birmingham
Crown Court. The man was convicted on 24 January at Birmingham Crown
Court for attempting to force the victim, who was then an 18-year-old,
into a forced marriage. Along with his 43-year-old wife, he was also
found guilty of child neglect. During a three-week trial, the court
heard that the girl who was born in UK and raised by her uncle and aunt
in Birmingham after her mother returned to Pakistan due to a visa issue,
had been mistreated by the couple. They treated her worse than a
domestic servant, depriving her of food, clothing, hygiene, medical and
dental care, and verbally, emotionally and physically demeaned, bullied
and abused her which made the girl feel like 'a nobody'. She was taken
to Pakistan when she was 10 where she lived in abysmal conditions, later
returning to the UK at age 14 to live with another family member in
Birmingham where she enjoyed living and went on to complete her
education and get a job. In July 2016, the victim who also cannot be
named for legal reasons, travelled to Pakistan to visit her mother who
was unwell. When she arrived in Pakistan, her uncle seized her passport
and kept her at his house where he tried to force her into an arranged
marriage. When she tried to refuse, he threatened her with a gun and
told her either to get married to a husband of his choosing or die. She
later found a way to escape thanks to a friend she made in Pakistan who
smuggled a phone to her and she called the British Embassy for help. In
September 2017, she was rescued and returned to the UK where a Forced
Marriage Prevention Order (FMPO) was issued for her protection. Her
uncle was jailed for forced marriage and two counts of child cruelty
while her aunt was given a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two
years for child cruelty.
4. The teenager who threw a six-year-old
boy from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern in London had spoken
about plans to push someone off a high building about a year earlier.
A care worker to Jonty Bravery said opportunities to stop him were
BBC News has obtained a recording of Bravery telling his
care workers about a plan to kill someone and go to jail.
provider, Spencer & Arlington, said they had "no knowledge or records of
5. Police in Rotherham have arrested two
people on suspicion of facilitating female genital mutilation
The arrests came after a woman attended a police station in
Rotherham and reported she had been subjected to FGM, a criminal
offence, elsewhere in the country.
Temporary Detective Sergeant Tom
Bishop said: “This brave woman told specialist officers she had been the
victim of female genital mutilation, which is a barbaric and violent
“We know that FGM is often not spoken about or reported, so I
commend this victim for taking the courageous step to come forward and
speak to us about what happened.
“As a result of her report, two
people – a 40-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman – have been arrested
on suspicion of facilitating female genital mutilation. Both have been
released on police bail pending further enquiries. ”
Under the Female
Genital Mutilation Act 2003, it is illegal for FGM to be performed in
the UK. It is also an offence for a UK national or UK resident to carry
out FGM even outside the UK, or help and enable someone else to carry
This applies even when the victim is taken to a country
where this practice is legal. If convicted, the perpetrator can face up
to 14 years in prison.
6. A new report has been published
multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family
environment. The report calls on professionals to give sexual abuse a
higher priority in local areas, through improved training and
awareness-raising of the problem. More needs to be done to prevent the
sexual abuse of children in the family environment and when it does
happen, agencies must work better to protect and support victims and
7. Putting children under the age of
16 in unregulated accommodation will become illegal if new
plans announced by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson become law.
Minimum standards will also be introduced for unregulated accommodation,
which provides accommodation but not care.
8. The Internet
Watch Foundation (IWF) call on businesses to
join them in
partnerships to help the IWF in its mission to find and remove
online child sexual abuse material.
AdEPT, which provides IT and
security for schools, and virtual currency traders
Coinbase, have announced they
have joined the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) as members, in a move
reinforcing their commitment to keeping users safe online. As an IWF
member, AdEPT will receive advice from IWF experts and will actively
contribute to conversations with other members to identify how industry
players can continuously innovate to further protect users. Coinbase
will take virtual currency alerts and the IWF keywords list.
9. The rights of children outweigh
those of confidentiality when disclosures of information about
allegations of abuse are made to ministers of religion, the High Court
has ruled Jehovah's Witness' elders - the equivalent of ministers
- failed in their challenge to an order to disclose information to a
council about allegations of sexual abuse made about a father who was a
member of their congregation.
Mrs Justice Lieven rejected the
contention that the material was covered by a common law privilege
against disclosing information obtained during confession or spiritual
In Lancashire County Council v E & F  EWHC 182
(Fam) Mrs Justice Lieven held that the article 6 and 8 rights of the
children outweighed the article 9 rights of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to
respect for their religious practices.
Elders A and B had applied to
set aside a witness summons issued by HHJ Singleton QC on 29 November
2019.Mrs Justice Lieven said: “The application raises an important issue
about the circumstances in which disclosure can be resisted on grounds
of a religious duty of confidentiality, in the context of allegations of
child sexual abuse.
“The facts of this case raise very great concern
about the safeguarding of children within the Jehovah's Witness
E is a girl aged 12 and F is a boy aged 10. In
July 2019 A informed the police that their mother had, in 2016, told
elders that their father had sexually abused E.
Police referred the matter to social services and
the father was arrested but released on police bail, and the children
were later placed with foster parents.
HHJ Singleton ordered Lancashire to file and
serve statements from A and B setting out their investigation of the
allegations made by E and produce various documents. They refused and
HHJ Singleton issued a witness summons.
A and B argued in their
challenge to this that they were under a spiritual duty not to disclose
confidential religious communications.
But Mrs Justice Lieven rejected this. She said:
“There is no evidence that the material sought through the witness
summons was in any sense a confession or akin to a confession.
appears that the allegation of sexual abuse came to the elders'
attention because the mother reported it, not because the father
confessed to the elders, or sought spiritual counselling.”
She also held that the material Lancashire sought
“does not, on the evidence, amount to ‘spiritual counselling’” and that
even if it did the congregation’s own policy said that where a
conversation amounts to spiritual counselling but indicates that a child
may be at risk of harm, it "will be conveyed to the extent necessary to
ensure that the policies and procedures herein expressed shall be
properly followed so as to safeguard children”.
The judge said: “There does appear to be a strong
suspicion that the congregation's own published guidance…was not
followed, not just by A and B, but also by more senior figures in the
congregation. From a child safeguarding viewpoint this is deeply
troubling, not least because the policy documents are ones which seem to
be produced for public consumption but not to be effective to protect
And the reason to remain vigilant in all
aspects of safeguarding
1. On 7 February 2020 at Liverpool Crown
Court, Michael Stone was sentenced to six and a half years in
jail. The judge also imposed an extended licence period of a year which
means Stone will be under the supervision of offender management
agencies for a further year after he has finished his jail term.
Crown Prosecution Service proved that Michael Stone, who is now 68 but
was 41 at the time of the assaults, sexually assaulted the pupil for
around a year.
Michael Stone, a married man who lives at Silverdale
Close in Frodsham, admitted two counts of indecent assault but denied
the remaining nine charges of indecent assault and indecency with a
child. He was found guilty by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court.
was an IT teacher at a school in Liverpool when the abuse began, just
before the school summer holidays in 1993.
The victim was a
vulnerable young child whom Stone groomed over a period of time.
indecently assaulted her, bought her perfume and continued to abuse her
until the end of the following school year, with the abuse escalating
over that period of time.
He regularly indecently assaulted her in
the classroom, in his car and once at his home address in Frodsham.
2. A 77-year-old man who watched and paid
for the online sexual abuse of young children in the Philippines has
been sentenced to 22 years' imprisonment.
Colin Dyke, from Sheldon,
Birmingham, was found to be in possession of still and moving indecent
images of children as young as six months of age. He engaged in online
conversations, of a sexual nature, with children and vulnerable families
living in the Philippines. He then paid for the children to perform
sexual acts while he watched them via a video conference facility.
Birmingham Crown Court, he was jailed for 22 years after admitting 17
child sexual offences at an earlier hearing. He was also placed on the
sex offenders’ register for life, and made the subject of a Sexual Harm
Prevention Order (SHPO).
The grandfather of three was apprehended
following an investigation by the National Crime Agency’s Child
Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
3. Edson Munyikwa, 55, raped a
non-verbal patient when he was looking after her in respite
care. His crime was only discovered when the victim became pregnant as a
result of the assault and began suffering a series of particularly
When blood tests detected the pregnancy an urgent
investigation began and male staff members at the care facility were
suspended until the suspect could be identified. The victim’s male
relatives also had to move out of the family home for five weeks and
care workers were stationed at the victim’s home permanently to make
sure that no men were granted access to her.
All the men who may
have been able to visit the victim provided a voluntary DNA sample for
testing. The tests revealed that Munyikwa, who had worked as a carer for
more than 10 years, was the attacker. He pleaded guilty to rape on 13
December 2019 at Leeds Crown Court.
1. Championed by The Duchess of Cambridge,
the Royal Foundation has
undertaken a survey
Questions, The survey has brought together the thoughts of
individuals, organisations and businesses so that we can build the
healthiest generation in history by giving every child the best start in
life. The survey has now closed.
2. The government has released
Novel coronavirus, COVID19 guidance. for schools and
to NHS for all clinicians about COVID-19
Consultation is now open for the revised Keeping Children Safe in
Education 2020 . It closes 21 April.
The SAFE Team