Safeguarding News February 2021
Welcome to the latest news round up for February 2021.
With the prospect of lockdown easing and everyone making plans for the future, now is a good time to review safeguarding arrangements and SAFEcic membership continues to be tremendous value with its template policies, procedures and other useful documentation. Membership also gives organisations the opportunity to self review and benchmark their safeguarding arrangements to achieve the SAFEcic Award with the support of the SAFEcic expert safeguarding team.
To assist organisations in their preparations for the future, SAFEcic offers free, no obligation consultations by phone or Zoom. To book your free consultation email consultation@ safecic.co.uk
SAFEcic has also extended its discounted core safeguarding training offer with 25% of a range of online courses. To take advantage of these extremely competitive rates with no time limit on when you use them click the links below:
25% off Standard Child, Leading on Child, Standard Adult and Leading on Adult online safeguarding training (includes Dental and Optician variants)
25% off Trustees - Ensuring compliance online safeguarding training
25% off International Standard Child online safeguarding training
The highlight of the month was Tuesday, 9 February 2021, which saw the 18th Safer Internet Day with activities and events taking place right across the globe. With a theme once again of "Together for a better internet", this day called upon all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people.
England and Wales
The government has published the new Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Anti-social behaviour powers: Statutory guidance for frontline professionals. which provides police and local authorities with a range of tools and powers to respond quickly to anti-social behaviour (ASB) and ensure victims have a say in the way that complaints are dealt with.
A key part of this is the Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review (also known as the Community Trigger), which gives victims of persistent anti-social behaviour the ability to demand a formal case review where the local threshold is met - an important safety net in ensuring that victims are fully supported.
Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research, and Inquiries
1. Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell reiterates apology to survivors on behalf of the national game as governing body updates on progress of interim report recommendations.
The board of the Scottish FA, having reviewed the final report of the Independent Review of Sexual Abuse in Scottish Football, wishes to reiterate its profound apology to those who have personal experience of sexual abuse in our national game.
They have produced a comprehensive review of non-recent sexual abuse in Scottish football, provided recommendations that the game is implementing at all levels to ensure a safer future for young footballers, and, crucially, have given survivors a voice that was previously denied to them.
2. The Independent Inquiry into Child Secual Abusee has published The Independent Inquiry into Child Secual Abuse has published the Victims and Survivors Forum Consultation on Protected Characteristics: Summary Report February 2021
The report found 73 percent of Forum members who took part in the survey felt that their protected characteristics had impacted their interaction with institutions about child sexual abuse.
Some members of the Forum, who had mental health problems or physical disabilities, described feeling dismissed by institutions, such as teachers in schools or social services. One Forum member with learning and mental health problems described how they were treated as “unreliable” by institutions, which made it more difficult to be taken seriously when disclosing that they were sexually abused.
Respondents described how they felt their protected characteristics had made them more vulnerable to child sexual abuse, or reduced the likelihood of them being believed. Some Forum members felt that their protected characteristics created barriers to disclosing and or reporting child sexual abuse. Female respondents spoke of feeling dismissed and unheard, and described how societal attitudes and stereotypes made them feel unable to report the abuse to statutory authorities. Male victims and survivors described being dismissed by institutions, such as the police, when they tried to report being sexually abused as a child. Many Forum members said that they received unhelpful responses from institutions due to a perceived lack of understanding of their protected characteristics.
Over half of the Forum members said that their protected characteristics had affected their access to support. Respondents described a multitude of barriers they faced such as not being taken seriously, mistrust towards organisations, fear of discrimination or concerns that they wouldn’t be understood. Some felt that support services are not tailored to their protected characteristics, and as a result, were left unable to access support that was right for them.
3. Six New Serious Case Reviews for February 2021 are Published:
3.1. Death of a 15-year-old boy in May 2019 as a result of being stabbed. A 15-year-old boy was found guilty of Child C's murder, and a 16-year-old boy and 18-year-old male were convicted of manslaughter. Child C had been permanently excluded from school, and had been injured in another stabbing three months before his death. Increasing police contacts and concerns about behaviour and escalating risk prior to incident. Child C was going missing with concerns about criminal exploitation and county lines involvement. Parents had separated and Mother lived with new partner. Two referrals to children's services and concerns over Child C's cannabis use. Findings include: exclusion from mainstream school can heighten risk; education settings need access to local intelligence; clarity is needed about interventions to mitigate extra-familial risk; involving and supporting parents is essential to effective safety planning; inconsistent judgements about risk creates uncertainty; poor case recording can directly impact on practice. Child C was from a Black and minority ethnic background. Recommendations include: review processes that involve the application of risk gradings for young people at risk of serious youth violence; exhaust all kinship options as part of a safety plan for children who are at risk of serious youth violence; schools ensure they have a detailed understanding of the potential safeguarding needs of any child at risk of permanent exclusion; ensure that policy, procedure and guidance is sufficient to ensure the active consideration of racial and cultural identity as part of the safety planning process involving extra familial risks.
3.2. Death of a boy aged under 3-months-old in June 2019. Child A was found unconscious on the sofa at home in the morning by Mother; Father was asleep on the sofa. Child A was taken to hospital by ambulance where he was confirmed dead. Child A was born prematurely and spent time on the neonatal unit prior to being discharged home. Mother is a care leaver and had disclosed cannabis usage; Father also known to use cannabis. Concerns that both parents were using cannabis when visiting Child A on the neonatal unit. On the day of Child A's death police and lead nurse for child death visited family home; concerns noted about home environment. Learning includes: Mother received consistent support from the Care Leavers Team, but insufficient consideration was given to how she would manage living independently with Father of Child A and her unborn child; parents should have been challenged about their use of cannabis and they should have been offered Early Help; there were opportunities for professionals to have visited the family home prior to the discharge of Child A, which may have identified the need for more support. Ethnicity or nationality not stated. Recommendations include: ensure that training of professionals includes the impact which cannabis use can have on parents' ability to care for their children; promote the feasibility of conducting the antenatal and postnatal visits jointly, and ensure that the Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) tool is utilised where concerns are raised regarding home conditions and potential neglect.
3.3. Serious non-accidental head injury and bite marks to Baby B, a 20-week-old baby who was taken to hospital on 23 December 2016. Baby B's father was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and received a 12-month prison sentence. Baby B was born prematurely at 28 weeks and remained in a neonatal intensive care unit for 14 weeks prior to discharge. Baby B was the first child born to their mother who was 17-years-old and the second child of their father who was 20-years-old. Baby B was identified as a Child in Need while in hospital. Issues of concern included: the relationship between the parents; their ability to parent safely due to low level maturity; concern about Father's use of cannabis and history of violent and aggressive behaviour. Evidence of domestic violence. Baby B's mother engaged with all ante-natal services and had a high number of medical presentations during her pregnancy, but did not disclose domestic abuse. Ethnicity or nationality is not stated. Key learning: maintaining a focus on fathers of children to establish more clearly the implications of their needs and role in the family; need to ensure that the Local Safeguarding Children Board escalation policy is disseminated across the whole safeguarding partnership to ensure practitioners and managers challenge when there is a difference of opinion. Recommendations: children's social care to ensure that multi-agency Child in Need plans are in place for children in need; partner agencies to brief their staff on their responsibility to ensure child in need plans are in place.
3.4. Serious harm and sexual abuse of children whilst living with a relative under a Special Guardianship Order. The review concerns six children, of whom four were removed from one situation where they were likely to suffer significant harm to another where they experienced severe abuse. The children had moved from another local authority area and were placed with the perpetrator and his wife. Behavioural problems were attributed to early trauma; this was magnified by the perpetrator's ability to create a narrative that he and his wife were "courageous and brave" in taking on the children. Findings include: the need to share information across the multi-agency network; practitioners need to be equipped to undertake assessments which include hearing the voice of the child, understanding the meaning of a child's behaviour, and maintaining professional curiosity; friends and family assessments should always include consideration of the impact of placement on all children in the household. Recommendations include: ensure that there is a focus on the voice and lived experience of children in assessments and interventions; consider the child's history, the history of their care givers and the motivation underlying their application to look after the child; the Safeguarding Children Partnership should work with partner agencies to develop a strategy on recognising and working with child sexual abuse within the family; and agencies should evaluate their supervision systems and provide an opportunity for practitioners to analyse in complex family situations.
3.5. Serious harm suffered by a 11-week-old baby boy in October 2016. Child O was taken to hospital by his parents where he was found to have injuries indicative of abusive head trauma. Child O was seen as vulnerable but no safeguarding concerns were identified. Sibling S had previously been subject to a Child in Need plan. Following hospital discharge, both Child O and Sibling S were placed in foster care. Family are White British (former travellers), and known to multiple agencies. Maternal history of: mental health problems; severe adverse childhood experiences; persistent non-engagement; teenage pregnancies; subject to Child Protection Plan. Learning focuses on the following themes: importance of: timely record keeping and information sharing, including relevant past histories; engagement with fathers, young people and hard to reach individuals, including at or below the Child in Need threshold; high quality, reflective, restorative supervision and management oversight; planning to achieve outcomes; professional scepticism/challenge; adherence to agency and multi-agency policy, procedures and good practice in a timely way, especially when dealing with new born babies; consider the impact of adverse childhood experiences; incorporate family culture and context into assessments; quality assurance of supervision for health providers. Recommendations include: ensure the needs and risks of new born babies are given sufficient attention in their own right; promote restorative practice; seek multi-agency involvement before closing a in Child in Need case.
3.6 Death of a 15-year-old boy in the summer of 2018. Frankie was fatally stabbed when attacked by a group of adolescent males in London. One young person was convicted of murder and four were convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm. Frankie lived with his mother and two siblings; his father was in prison from 2016. Family was supported by a Child in Need Plan, following a social work assessment that identified concerns around involvement in crime. Frankie had a Referral Order for theft and knife possession and was permanently excluded from school in 2018. Frankie's social worker had concerns about his associations with gang culture. No evidence to indicate that Frankie's murder was gang related. Ethnicity or nationality are not stated. Learning and recommendations are integrated and include: ensure timely notifications to relevant persons when a child dies outside of the area in which they reside; improve notification processes for agencies when a child becomes the subject of a Child in Need Plan; review permanent exclusion processes within schools to reduce the potential for safeguarding risks to children at risk of exclusion; understand how to incorporate the concept of contextual safeguarding in the assessment of risk to children in the future; evaluate how partner agencies support families affected by gang association; assess how partner agencies share intelligence related to gang affiliations. Recommendation made to the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel to consider a national thematic review because of the prevalence of similar incidents across the country.
4. The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has published Lady Smith’s findings in relation to the provision of residential care by The Christian Brothers at St Ninian’s Residential Care Home, Falkland, Fife, between 1953 and 1983.
She concludes that the regime at St Ninian’s exposed children to risks of sexual, physical, and psychological danger. Further, for many children, those risks materialised.
Lady Smith, Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, said: “The overall view I formed of St Ninian’s was depressing. It was a place where the Brothers who were perpetrators of abuse could pursue their abusive practices with impunity.
“Abusive Brothers had unrestrained access to the vulnerable children they wished to target. That such abuse was possible for virtually the entirety of St Ninian’s existence represents serious failures in oversight, management, and governance.
“Fundamental deficiencies in training, and a serious lack of relevant life experiences, conspired to enable dreadful abuse of children, who were supposedly being cared for by the Order, to occur.
“Children were betrayed by serious breaches of trust and, for many, it caused lasting damage.”
Lady Smith added: “The Order offered a genuine apology to survivors of abuse at St Ninian’s while recognising that “sorry” has very little content of itself, and that what really matters is admission and recognition of what happened and that what happened was wrong.”
Lady Smith will take these findings into account when she analyses all the evidence gathered by the Inquiry and decides what recommendations to make in her final report.
Applicants and other witnesses can continue to come forward to the Inquiry with relevant evidence about the care provided by The Christian Brothers and this will be considered as part of the continuing process.
1. The Charity Commission has lifted its statutory supervision of Oxfam GB, after concluding that the charity has significantly strengthened its approach to keeping people safe. Its follow up report confirms that Oxfam GB has responded positively to the Commission’s scrutiny. The charity has implemented wide-ranging changes to its organisational culture, and strengthened its approach, resources and processes, such that people served or employed by the charity are now better protected against abuse, exploitation, and other forms of harm.
But the Commission stresses that effective safeguarding is “never complete” and that systems and processes, however good, must be underpinned by leaders and senior managers remaining vigilant and continuing to place the highest priority on keeping people safe.
The regulator has monitored and engaged with Oxfam on the implementation of the actions, which has included overseeing an independent assessment of the charity’s progress in implementing the actions and recommendations.
The regulator has worked closely with Oxfam on the findings from this independent review, ensuring that the large majority of the 100 actions are now complete with only limited areas in which the charity needs to undertake further work.
The Commission is therefore satisfied that its period of statutory supervision can end, and the charity has now reverted to the Commission’s standard regulatory oversight. As is routine for charities of Oxfam’s size and reach, the Commission will remain in regular contact and will follow up on any new concerns as a matter of urgency.
Worthy of Note
1. The Government has committed to using a public health approach to gang violence – that is all agencies working in partnership to prevent violence by tackling the underlying causes of child criminal exploitation. Ministers have committed £35 million to Police and Crime Commissioners to set up Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) across 18 police forces, tasked with understanding, and responding to the situation in their local area. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the need for agencies in other areas to adopt both a safeguarding and public health response across the country, working in partnership with local police forces. This has meant little work to incentivise, and crucially, monitor and oversee the implementation of action taken by public health bodies themselves and by children’s services. The Still not safe report shows that the vast majority of Local Authorities do not have a sufficient grip on the drivers for youth violence in their areas, nor do they have a cogent strategy to reduce risk factors in vulnerable cohorts. Most were not tracking local school exclusions – widely acknowledged as a trigger for a significant escalation of risk for children. Drug misuse is also a key risk factor for gang exploitation, however the numbers of children accessing drug treatment has fallen by 41% nationally. These gangs act like sophisticated and entrepreneurial businesses, and as we have seen many businesses adapt their models to capitalise on the pandemic, so too have criminal gangs. This research was undertaken before the pandemic, which is only likely to have increased vulnerability further.
2. The Department of Health and Social Care have launched a new approach, ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’ to boost the vital adult social care workforce. Short-term staff called on to support care homes and home care services during the pandemic
The public are being called upon to apply for rewarding short-term and long-term opportunities in the adult social care sector to support care home residents and those being cared for at home.
The impact of the new COVID-19 variant is being felt across the country and additional staff are urgently needed now to support the adult social care workforce where absence rates have more than doubled in recent months due to self-isolation.
Jobseekers, volunteers and people on furlough can now register their interest for short-term opportunities including personal care – helping people to wash and dress – providing wellbeing support, simply collecting and delivering supplies, or helping out with the cooking and cleaning. Exact roles will be based on experience, local need and local authority and care provider discretion.
People can find out more about a longer-term career in social care and search for jobs in their area by visiting Every Day is Different
3. One of the survivors of Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham has asked the government to give children born from rape legal “victim” status so they can receive specialist help and potentially prosecute their fathers.
Sammy Woodhouse– who became pregnant with her first son aged 14 after being groomed and raped – says that despite being recognised herself as a victim of sexual exploitation, there was no support for her son in dealing with how he had been conceived.
She has written to Victoria Atkins, the safeguarding minister, to ask for funding for charities to be trained and offer advice and therapeutic services to mothers and children conceived by rape.
She also wants children of rape to be defined as victims within the law.
Woodhouse, who under a pseudonym was one of the first Rotherham survivors to raise the alarm on the town’s grooming scandal, said: “It’s safe to say children conceived through abuse and rape have suffered enormously, so for me it’s a given. If they are seen as victims it could help such as bringing prosecutions forward if the mother doesn’t want to testify. It will give the children a voice and be recognised as an individual with rights within the law.”
She waived her anonymity after her abuser, Arshid Hussain, was jailed for 35 years in 2016, and has become a campaigner against sexual exploitation.
4. A ban on placing vulnerable children under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation will come into force in September, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced, as part of a series of reforms to drive up standards in children’s social care.
Children in care under 16 will no longer be allowed to be accommodated in unregulated independent or semi-independent placements, helping to ensure the most vulnerable are cared for in settings that best meet their needs. Regulations have been laid in Parliament, for the ban to come into force in September, as part of the Government’s response to its consultation last year aimed at ensuring the highest quality provision for all children and young people in care.
The Government will also introduce national standards for unregulated settings that are accommodating 16 and 17-year-old children in care and care leavers, to raise the bar for the quality of this provision and ensure consistency across the country. The Department for Education will shortly launch a consultation on the new national standards, so that as more older children come into the care system, a high quality option is available where they can receive the support they need to prepare for adult life.
And The Reason to Remain Vigilant in All Aspects of Safeguarding
1. A teacher at a school in Buckinghamshire was found guilty of having sex with a 15-year-old pupil.
Having borrowed the then 15-year-old’s phone, Kandice Barber, 35, added her Snapchat profile to his account and used this social platform to send messages to the teenager which soon became sexual in nature. Barber asked to meet the teenager outside of school and on one occasion took him to a field, where they had sex.She continued messaging the teenager for the next few months, sending him inappropriate images and a video of herself committing a sexual act.
When rumours began circulating at school, Barber warned the teenager that if he “snaked” on her, she would take him down with her.
On first being confronted by the headmaster, both Barber and the teenager denied the relationship. However, when the headteacher later obtained an inappropriate photo Barber had sent to the boy, he admitted to what had gone on and the matter was reported to the police.
Barber continued to deny what she had done, saying the victim had pursued her and she had not had sex with him. However, message exchanges between Barber and the teenager made it clear she had initiated contact and even suggested booking a hotel room for the boy’s 16th birthday.
Screen shots taken by the pupil of images sent on Snapchat by Barber also provided further evidence of the relationship. Additionally, several friends and colleagues confirmed they had seen the messages Barber had sent to the teenager.
Jennie Laskar-Hall of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Barber used her position as a teacher and as a trusted member of the community to abuse a teenage boy in her care.
“The messages were crucial to our case as they showed Barber had initiated contact with the teenager and pursued him, even threatening him when the school investigation began.
“Denying what she had done, Barber has forced the teenager and his family to go through a trial, and I want to commend him for providing the vital evidence we needed to secure today’s conviction.”
2. Davey Everson, 23, had denied killing three-month-old Millie-Rose Burdett, who died on 11 January 2019. Her mother, Kirsty Burdett, 25, who was accused of failing to take reasonable steps to protect her, has been convicted of causing or allowing the death of her daughter.
The pair will be sentenced at the Old Bailey at a later date.
At a trial at St Albans Crown Court, the jury heard Millie was admitted to Watford General Hospital on 15 December 2018 with multiple fractures, bruising and a severe brain injury, from which she never recovered.
She died in a coma at King's College Hospital in London when her life support system was turned off.
The court heard Everson, who lived in Haselbury Road, in Edmonton in London, had begun a relationship with Burdett, of Nightingale Road, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, when she was pregnant.
He was alone with the baby when the fatal injuries were inflicted, but told emergency services he had been feeding her when she choked and stopped breathing.
A scan showed Millie had a bleed on her brain which prosecutor David Spens QC said suggested a "strong possibility of a non-accidental injury having taken place".
He said Everson had "never provided an account that explains how her injuries were caused".
"That is because the prosecution say the truth is he violently assaulted her in anger, most likely by shaking or throwing her against a surface such as into a cot," he said.
Jurors also heard there had been previous incidents where Millie was injured prior to being admitted to hospital that December and that Mr Everson was "rough and violent" towards the baby.
Mr Spens said Burdett had "failed to take reasonable steps to protect Millie from Mr Everson despite the clear signs that he posed a serious risk to her".
"Rather than reporting his behaviour and ending the relationship, Kirsty Burdett had defended him, covered up for him," he said.
Both defendants were also convicted of cruelty to a person under 16 involving another child who cannot be named.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it was a "tragic case of a defenceless infant who suffered horrendous treatment at the hands of a violent man and was failed by her mother".
3. Mohammed Assri, 47 (02.04.73), of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday, 28 January having been found guilty at an earlier hearing. On Monday, 17 February 2020, Assri made a frantic call to police reporting that he had returned to an address in St Mark’s Grove, SW10 to find JamesDowdell dead.
Officers and paramedics attended to find James with head injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Assri was arrested and was found in possession of James’s personal items including his bank card and a large sum of blood stained cash.
Detectives began an investigation and found the relationship between Assri and James to be unclear. Assri claimed that his name was Adam and that James was his uncle. Assri had been homeless prior to moving into James’s flat in late January.
Having moved into the flat, Assri quickly established control, seeking to exclude James’s carers. He took over his finances, including using his Halifax debit card regularly, and pawned a valuable watch-strap belonging to James.
Officers found that in an attempt to displace himself from the crime scene Assri lied about his whereabouts in the hours before James’s death. He claimed that he had been at his sister’s house at 16.45hrs that day and later returned to James’ residence, performing CPR for 30 mins before calling the ambulance at 18.45hrs. Officers found that CCTV cameras showed he had been in the vicinity of his sister’s house 12 hours before he claimed and James’s pacemaker registered a failing heart nearly two hours before an ambulance was called.
A post-mortem examination revealed bruising on James’s wrists and marks to his hand suggesting that he had tried to defend himself from the fatal attack, and gave cause of death as blunt force trauma and compression of the neck.
Assri insisted that James’s injuries were sustained by falling and were self-inflicted. This was disproved by pathologists and medical evidence.
Detective Inspector Maria Green from Specialist Crime said: “This has been a truly tragic case and my thoughts are with James Dowdell’s family as they continue to come to terms with their loss. I pay tribute to them and the strength that they have shown.
“Assri is a violent and manipulative man who has taken no responsibility for his actions. He used his court appearance as an attempt to dishonour the memory and life of James and delay the trial causing great upset to James’ family.
“I hope that this conviction, and the sentence imposed, will send out a clear message to those intent on committing violent acts – that tackling violence in London is a top priority for the Metropolitan Police and we will continue to apprehend those responsible for causing misery and fear in our communities.
“The community will be a lot safer as a result of Assri now being behind bars. People must remember that they can play a really important role in tackling violent crime and if you have information about crime, we urge you to tell us, so that we can tackle violence together and help keep our neighbourhoods safe.”
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or are worried about someone else please have the confidence to approach police or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you need urgent help and cannot talk, dial 999 and press 55 to let the operator know the call has not been made in error.
4. An ex-paramedic has been jailed for multiple rapes and serious sexual assaults carried out over a period of several years on women in his care, or in an assumed relationship with him.
Andrew Wheeler, 46, worked as a paramedic in the East of England Ambulance Service and used his position to promote an immediate sense of trust and confidence from his victims.
The paramedic preyed on women in his care and went to great lengths to hide his actions by lying to colleagues and telling victims no one would believe them.
However, the CPS presented evidence of Wheeler’s clear intention to sexually abuse his victims and in some cases rape them.
He was found guilty of multiple offences over nine years and was sentenced to 21 years.
Matt Golby, of the CPS, said: “Wheeler abused his position of trust to rape and sexually assault women over several years. Instead of providing essential care, he preyed on these women for his own depraved gratification.
“Given Wheeler’s role in the community and his threats that no one would believe them, it must have taken immense courage for the victims in this case to come forward. They should be commended for their bravery and I hope today’s result shows the CPS will prosecute all perpetrators of sexual violence wherever our legal test is met.”
5. Michael Catherall a former army officer and Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities since 1980 admitted a series of misconduct charges while working at Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Eithinog and Arfon Care and Nursing Home in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.
The hearing listed allegations proven as:
- called Resident A “a pain in the arse”, or words to that effect
- called Resident B “a prick” and/or “numb nuts”, or words to that effect
- on being informed that a resident was having a medical episode, responded “there is no rush, it’ll be over before I get there”, or words to that effect.
- said in respect of a colleague that you would ‘break their legs’, or
- words to that effect
- said to Colleague B that her “top with pompoms on looked nice”, or words to that effect;
In light of the above, the hearing decided his fitness to practise is impaired by reason of his misconduct. The striking-off order will take effect upon the expiry of the current suspension order.
6. Liam Tripp, 34, contacted a girl on a social media app and obtained indecent images of her in November 2019. He also sexually abused her.
In April 2020 National Crime Agency (NCA) officers established that an internet account linked to Tripp had been downloading indecent images of children (IIOC).On 17 April NCA officers arrested him at his home in Southcoates, Hull, and seized his electronic devices. As he was arrested he said: “I knew this was coming. I hate myself for it.
“It’s me you want, and my phone is what you’re after. I hate myself.” Tripp’s Samsung Galaxy mobile phone was forensically triaged. It contained 3,562 illegal files consisting of 689 category A abuse images of children (the most serious); 1,110 category B images, 1,744 category C and 19 prohibited images of children. Another mobile phone of his contained 13 category A, 18 category B and 911 category C images. In interview with NCA investigators Tripp said he had pretended to be a teenage boy online to receive images from the 11-year-old girl in November 2019.NCA officers arrested him a second time on 12 November 2020 after he had obtained a new laptop he used to continue offending. As he was arrested he said: “I didn’t learn my lesson did I.” The laptop contained 128 category A abuse files, 83 category B and 195 category C. He also had a computer tower containing 182 prohibited images. Tripp, who is unemployed, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children, possession of prohibited images, engaging in sexual communication with a child and sexual activity with a girl under 13. Today, at Hull Crown Court, he was jailed for 36 months, put on the sex offenders register for life and given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order restricting his use of the internet. Sara Barrett, NCA operations manager, said:
“Tripp had gone to considerable lengths to set up a fake online profile and target the victim who we safeguarded.
“Offenders who view child sexual abuse are causing ever more victims to be abused and condemning them to years of extreme trauma and suffering.
“Every child in an abuse image is revictimised when the photograph is viewed or shared.“ There is no greater priority for the NCA than protecting children from sexual abuse.”
Child protection charity The Lucy Faithfull Foundation runs the Stop It Now! helpline which offers confidential advice to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s behaviour towards children. Advice for children and parents about online safety can be found at the NCA’s Thinkuknow website.
New findings highlight a surge in the proportion of scam and nuisance calls as callers target people over the age of 70 to exploit new and unfamiliar processes associated with COVID-19, such as applying for swab tests and vaccines.
The new data is released alongside findings from National Trading Standards that demonstrate the effectiveness of call blocker units and the positive impact they have on people’s wellbeing.
In a call blocker programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, National Trading Standards led a programme to install more than 1,000 free call blocker units in people’s homes. The programme was designed to test their effectiveness at preventing nuisance calls, improving victims’ wellbeing and providing intelligence to support investigations against the perpetrators.
1,084 call blockers were installed and, after six months, more than 1 in 3 (35%) of the 283,700 calls received by the units were found to be scam or nuisance calls. 98,701 scam and nuisance calls were blocked by the units – more than 99% of the scam and nuisance calls received – saving consumers a projected £20,227,167.42. *Members of the public are also being encouraged to protect themselves, friends and neighbours against scams by joining Friends Against Scams. The initiative provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To date, nearly 700,000 people have signed up to take part in the initiative.
Members of the public are also being urged to keep in contact with family members regularly and inform them of the most prolific scams and the possible dangers to them. If you or someone you know has been a targeted by a scam you should report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.