December 2019 January 2020 Newsletter
Welcome to the first SAFE newsletter of 2020 with our round up of key safeguarding news items from last December and January. For those organisations still looking to schedule staff training, SAFE has recently published a new set of dates for our popular face to face safeguarding events at our offices in Eye, Suffolk..
Here is a roundup of safeguarding news for December 2019 and January 2020.
England and Wales
1. Schools (Mental Health and Wellbeing) Bill [HL] has begun its passage through Parliament
2. Stalking Protection Orders, have been introduced by the The Stalking Protection Act 2019. The provisions of the Act have been brought into force by the The Stalking Protection Act 2019 (Commencement) Regulations 2020. The Act makes provision for SPOs which will:
be available on application by the police to a magistrates' court;
enable the imposition of both prohibitions and requirements on the perpetrator; and
have a criminal penalty for breach.
1 The latest measure implemented under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 has brought in new rules to make councils in Wales find housing for people who are intentionally homeless.
These are individuals or families who may have left suitable accommodation or have been evicted for anti-social behaviour.
Housing minister Julie James said the change gave greater security for those such as pregnant women and children.
2. Protection of older People in Wales – A guide to the Law 2019 published by the commissioner for older people the guide aims to help those working with and for older people. This is help them to be more aware of the law available to support them in their day-to-day work and the ways the law can be used to protect older people and ensure their rights are upheld. Whilst the guide is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice, nor a definitive statement of the law, it offers a detailed overview, providing context, helpful examples and case studies.
Children and Education (Amendment) (Jersey) Law 201-
Jersey has banned corporal punishment by parents, including in the home. The amendment, which passed the States Assembly by 39 votes to four, will come into force from April.
The change means the Channel Island is the second place in the British Isles to introduce a ban and is set to be the first to enforce it.
Scotland was the first UK nation to ban smacking in October, but it is not expected to come into force there until November 2020.
Statutory and Good Practice Guidance
Children’s homes and health care: registration with Ofsted or CQC 2019. This guidance clarifies the registration arrangements for:
children’s homes that provide healthcare
children’s healthcare settings, if the main function is care and
accommodation rather than acute health intervention
England and Wales
1. The analysis includes a range of indicators from different data sources and organisations.
This a range of indicators from different data sources to enable better understanding of the extent and circumstances of child abuse.
2. Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation – procedural information 2019
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women.
Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research, Consultations and Inquiries
1. More Case Reviews have been added to the Case Review Repository
2. The Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (IICAS) has published its report on the Protection of Children Outside the UK, focusing on the legal measures designed to prevent British child sex abusers from offending overseas.
The report finds that offenders from England and Wales are travelling to commit extensive abuse of children across the world, including in eastern Asia and Africa.
It concludes that civil orders are not being used effectively to stop offenders visiting other countries where poverty and corruption have left children vulnerable.
3. New research from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has found almost half of victims and survivors who have come forward to its Truth Project have an illness or condition that affects their lives.
Worthy of note
1. The Internet Watch Foundation, the UK charity, which finds and removes online child sexual abuse material, acts on anonymous reports from the public to find and eradicate criminal content.
But they say thousands of inappropriate or false reports of non-criminal material are wasting their analysts’ time and potentially stopping them finding and eliminating real abuse imagery from the internet.
According to the IWF, one individual alone has made 8,300 false reports since June 2019 despite having been repeatedly informed what they are reporting is “off remit” for the charity.
A new reporting page has been launched intended to make it clearer to the public what is, and is not, appropriate to report to the IWF.
2. The Internet Watch Foundation will now share its known hashes of child sexual abuse imagery (digital fingerprints) with internet companies in the United States and beyond, through a platform hosted by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. This is a giant step forward in the continuing effort to provide internet companies around the world with greater access to a larger pool of hashes to stop the upload, sharing and storage of this criminal imagery on their platforms.
The non-profit, NCMEC, operates the CyberTipline, a centralised reporting system for the online sexual exploitation of children. The CyberTipline also functions as a global hub for hash-sharing with internet companies around the world.
3. The HM Courts & Tribunals Service is calling on people to stay vigilant against fraudsters posing as enforcement officers and bailiffs.
They have become aware of scammers phoning members of the public, posing as County Court bailiffs, High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) and Certificated Enforcement Agents (CEAs).
During the calls, the fraudsters claim that the person owes money, and demands that they transfer funds into a bank account.
"We may contact you by phone to discuss a warrant of control and will offer to take debit or credit card payments over the phone.
However, we will never:
telephone you to ask for your bank details
telephone you to ask you to make a bank transfer using your sort code and account number.
If anyone claiming to be a county court bailiff, an HCEO or CEA calls asking for this information, you should not make any payment and not provide your bank details.
You should end the call and contact your local county court if the caller says they are an HMCTS bailiff. Contact details for county courts are on GOV.UK"
4. A husband and wife who pretended to help people find work in factories in order to exploit them, have been sentenced.
The authorities were alerted to Alexander Goran’s scheme when a charity was approached by a Romanian victim who said Goran had been exploiting him and other Romanian workers.
Goran, 30, would ‘recruit’ people looking for a job and arrange factory work for them, but controlled their wages, where they lived and where, when and what hours they could work.
Instead of receiving wages into their own accounts, Goran arranged for the money to be paid into his wife’s account.
Before paying the workers, Goran deducted money for transport, arranging the work and accommodation, which left the workers with very little.
5. The Pope has declared that the rule of "pontifical secrecy" no longer applies to the sexual abuse of minors, in a bid to improve transparency in such cases.
The Church previously shrouded sexual abuse cases in secrecy, in what it said was an effort to protect the privacy of victims and reputations of the accused. Information in abuse cases should still be treated with "security, integrity and confidentiality", the Pope said in his announcement. He instructed Vatican officials to comply with civil laws and assist civil judicial authorities in investigating such cases.
6. Thousands more children across the country will get a healthy and nutritious breakfast to set them up for the school day, thanks to an additional investment of up to £11.8 million by the government to support disadvantaged families.
So far around 1,800 school breakfast clubs have been created or improved by the https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-more-school-children-receiving-a-nutritious-breakfast in disadvantaged areas and thanks to this additional investment up to 650 more schools will benefit in the next year, with resources specifically targeted at the most disadvantaged areas to help make sure every child gets the best start in life.
7. Following the airing of the BBC documentary, The Betrayed Girls, about child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester on 3 July 2017, the Mayor announced he wanted to assure himself and the public that everything possible has been done to protect children today and in the future and prevent it from happening again.
The findings of the first independent review have been published “An assurance review of Operation Augusta.”
The report, written by child protection specialist Malcolm Newsam CBE and former senior police officer Gary Ridgway, considers the Operation Augusta investigation, which was launched by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) following the death of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia, who – after years of abuse and days after she was injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man - died in hospital of an overdose in 2003.
Whilst the report states there is much to be commended in Operation Augusta, it found that it had not addressed the issue it was set up for: to tackle the sexual exploitation of a number of children in the care system. Very few of the relevant perpetrators were brought to justice and neither were their activities disrupted, although there were eight criminal justice outcomes in total. Seven were prosecutions relating to police investigations and one was an immigration outcome.
8. Parents who suffer the devastating loss of a child will be entitled to 2 weeks’ statutory leave, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has announced as she laid new regulations in Parliament.
The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations, which will be known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd whose mother Lucy campaigned tirelessly on the issue, will implement a statutory right to a minimum of 2 weeks’ leave for all employed parents if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer.
And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding
1. A GP is facing jail after molesting 23 female patients whom he persuaded to have unnecessary examinations.
Dr Manish Shah used the cases of Angelina Jolie and Jade Goody to prey on the cancer concerns of patients as young as 17 and scare them into being examined for his sexual gratification, the Old Bailey heard.
Between May 2009 and June 2013, he assaulted six patients at Mawney medical centre in Romford, east London, the court was told.
Shah, 50, of Romford, denies wrongdoing, claiming he had been practising “defensive medicine”. But after a trial, he was found guilty of 25 sexual offences.
The jury was told Shah had already been convicted of similar allegations relating to 17 other women, bringing the total number of victims to 23. The judge, Anne Molyneux, adjourned sentencing for all the offences until 7 February.
2. A couple from Essex who sexually abused four children and recorded footage of their horrific crimes have today been sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Mark Gable received a total sentence of 11 years and 6 months and Jessica Fry received a total sentence of 10 years.
Gable and Fry had been trusted by the parents of the children, who were left in their care. They abused that trust and took advantage of their time with the children to sexually abuse them.
The horrendous acts were recorded by the pair, and the footage was stored on their computer. They used complex software in an attempt to hide the evidence of their abuse.
Working in close partnership with Essex Police, the CPS built a strong case and they pleaded guilty at their first hearing. Essex Police were initially investigating Gable for possessing indecent images of children, when they identified him as the male in some of the images.
The evidence gathered against them included digital material and social media communications.
3. Vicar Christopher Goble, 44, from Ilmington, pleaded guilty to downloading over 400 indecent images of children. 112 of the images were deemed to be of the most serious category (Category A).
The indecent photographs of children were found in a hidden gallery on his mobile phone. Police had executed a warrant to search his house on 1 Oct 2019.
A chat message was also discovered on his phone in which Goble admitted having a sexual interest in children.
The defendant pleaded guilty.
4. More than 6,000 children under 14 have been investigated by police for sexting offences in the past three years, including more than 300 of primary school age, the Guardian has learned.
Figures disclosed by 27 police forces in England and Wales revealed 306 cases of children under 10, including some as young as four, being investigated on suspicion of taking or sharing indecent images of themselves or other minors since 2017.
In one case, a nine-year-old boy was recorded on a police database for sending a naked selfie to a girl on Facebook Messenger. In another, a nine-year-old girl was recorded as an “offender” for sending images to someone on Instagram. They were among 6,499 cases of children under 14 investigated for such offences between 1 January 2017 and 21 August 2019, according to data disclosed to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act.
While the detail behind many of the investigations is unknown, a significant number are believed to involve the growing phenomenon of sexting – consensually sending and receiving explicit messages.
Consensual sexting among teenagers has been decriminalised in some countries, including parts of Australia and the US, but it is a crime in England and Wales under legislation introduced 41 years ago. It is illegal for anyone to take, make or share indecent images of children under the 1978 Protection of Children Act – even if the image is self-generated and shared consensually.
5. Former care-home owner John Allen, who is already serving a life sentence for sexually abusing children, has been jailed today for 14 and a half years for additional offences committed over 40 years ago. Allen, 78, of Needham Market, Suffolk, was convicted of seven counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted buggery at Mold Crown Court in December following a six week trial. He was found not guilty of offences relating to three other boys.
As part of the same investigation by the National Crime Agency – Operation Pallial – Allen was previously sentenced for 33 offences of child sexual abuse in December 2014.
6. A church pastor has been convicted of multiple (24) counts of child sexual abuse and rapes. Michael Oluronbi, age 60, was the faith leader of a religious group - Cherubim and Seraphim Church in Birmingham - when he committed these vile crimes.
His wife, Juliana Oluronbi, age 58, was also convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape.
Five of the seven victims are siblings who were abused at their home address where the church conducted services. All victims were abused from a young age under the guise of it being religious practice. They fell under the malign influence and authority the defendants held, and honestly believed their actions were on God’s behalf.
7. A discharged army officer who groomed and formed relationships with underage girls online has been jailed. Roland Lamin’s offending came to light when, one girl was overheard, by a teacher. The girl was talking about a man buying her things and referring to him as their ‘sugar daddy’. Lamin, 29, was found guilty after a trial of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child watch a sexual act, engaging in sexual communication with a child, making indecent images of a child and sexual assault.
Ten men were convicted of 16 upskirting offences in 2019 – the first year legislation making it a specific crime was available to prosecutors.
Three offenders have been jailed for taking pictures up women’s skirts without their consent since the CPS revealed the first set of convictions under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act in September.
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The SAFE Team