Safeguarding News January 2023
Welcome to the round up of safeguarding news from January 2023.
Regular visitors to our website may have noticed a change to the look and feel of the SAFEcic home page. We have also introduced a new and hopefully easier set of pages around allocating courses which should serve to make training managers' lives a little easier. We welcome your feedback so please email us with any observations or comments.
February is the ideal time to review your safeguarding arrangements. An excellent and speedy way to address this is our Safeguarding Rapid Review Service. It is also the perfect time to take out SAFE Membership with its many benefits.
Don't forget to check out our latest training schedule (below) and please feel free to share this email with your colleagues and they too can join our newsletter database.
To sign up simply click here.
SAFEcic is also accepting many more bookings for its face to face safeguarding training and audit services. There is also a packed calendar of blended learning events available to book for your organisation. The courses are a very cost effective way of training your staff and volunteers.
Wed 22 February 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Tue 14 March 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Wed 19 April 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Thu 11 May 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Wed 14 June 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Tue 11 July 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Wed 15 March 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Tue 9 May 2023
10:30 - 12:00 GMT
Thu 20 April 2023
10:00 - 11:30 GMT
Wed 21 June 2023
10:00 - 11:30 GMT
Thu 23 March 2023
10:00 - 12:00 GMT
Wed 24 May 2023
10:00 - 12:00 GMT
Wed 12 July 2023
10:00 - 12:00 GMT
SAFEcic's free hub resources by setting are available through the SAFEcic.co.uk main menu. Alternately you can bookmark the links below:
Legislation & Guidance
England and Wales
Better protection for rape victims from invasive record requests
The Home Office will legislate to protect people, including rape victims, from unnecessary requests for personal records.
Third party information on victims, such as education, medical, social services and counselling records, can be requested by the police during an investigation. These requests can be time-consuming and have a severe impact on victims’ confidence as an infringement on their privacy.
The government ran a public consultation on these police requests, in which experts across the sector including victims’ groups shared their views.
The Home Office has published its response to the consultation, which includes a commitment to introduce new legislation on the way the police can request access to personal data from third parties. This will better protect people’s data by ensuring the police and other parties only request this information where this is absolutely necessary and proportionate.
England and Wales
Law to recognise children born as a result of rape as victims for the first time
This means England and Wales will be among the first countries in the world to enshrine in law that individuals born in these horrific circumstances should be treated as victims in their own right.
The government will amend its upcoming Victims Bill to make this change to clarify that these children are entitled to support from criminal justice agencies such as the police and courts.
At present, the lack of explicit reference to people born as a result of rape in the Victims’ Code makes it unnecessarily difficult for them to claim support and entitlements such as being provided with information about their case. It follows a recommendation from the Justice Select Committee who fed back on the government’s draft bill in September 2022. The landmark piece of legislation seeks to put the needs and voices of victims firmly at the heart of the justice system and increase the accountability of agencies for the service they provide to them. It includes a new duty on the CPS to meet victims in certain cases before trial.
It is estimated that thousands of children are conceived from rape each year and the government is determined to ensure they receive the support they deserve.
The amendments apply to children born as a result of rape whatever age they are and will cover all sexual offences which can result in a pregnancy, for example, position of trust offences.
Teaching online safety in schools guidance updated
This non-statutory guidance outlines how schools can ensure their pupils understand how to stay safe and behave online as part of existing curriculum requirements.
It complements existing subjects including:
- relationships education
- relationships and sex education
- health education
There are no additional teaching requirements.
This guidance is for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies. It applies to all local-authority-maintained schools, academies and free schools.
Independent schools and non-maintained special schools may also find this guidance helpful as they are required to teach relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education.
Major child safeguarding concerns in out-of-school settings prompt renewed calls from councils for tougher powers
Tougher powers are needed for councils to oversee and regulate out-of-school settings (OOSS) – including being able to shut down illegal schools – after an independent report commissioned by the Government uncovered major safeguarding concerns.
The Department for Education funded a pilot in 16 council areas over an 18-month period into the oversight of OOSS, examining safeguarding risks and existing legal powers available to councils.
OOSS is a wide range of provision including uniformed organisations, sports and leisure clubs, supplementary schools, faith-based organisations and arts clubs.
The pilot identified multiple safeguarding risks, including physical chastisement/corporal punishment, grooming/sexual abuse/child exploitation and extremism/radicalisation.
The LGA, which represents councils, says the findings of the report reinforce long-standing calls for councils to be given greater oversight of such settings and powers to intervene and act where necessary.
Currently OOSS are not required to notify councils about their provision and allow access to their settings, while many parents also assume they are regulated in a similar way to schools or childcare providers.
The report found there was significant potential for safeguarding harm in OOSS, as unlike other educational settings and childcare services, the sector is unregulated under education and childcare law. It found current legal powers to act are also not widely understood, making it difficult for councils to intervene. In addition, there is low take up of offers of free voluntary support from councils for OOSS, despite councils’ efforts to encourage OOSS to engage with them and take up training and free DBS checks.
The LGA is calling on the Department for Education to act on the report’s findings and give councils tougher powers to ensure child safety, while ensuring they are adequately funded and resourced to do so.
It says while the vast majority of OOSS will provide safe and suitable environments for children, it is vital that they are required to register with their council, ensuring they comply with safeguarding checks.
The LGA has previously raised concerns over illegal schools and have called for councils to be given powers to shut these down. Where councils have raised this problem previously, they have been told to use fire, planning and health and safety powers, an arrangement that is wholly unsatisfactory.
It is calling for tougher powers to include safeguarding checks:
- Being able to legally act on any concerns and close down unsafe premises as a last resort option
- Requiring OOSS to register with their council
- Ensuring settings comply with all
10,000 Voices: Children in care’s views on their well-being report
For almost a decade the Coram Voice Bright Spots programme has worked with children and young people in care to explore what they feel makes their lives good. The 10,000 voices report by Professor Julie Selwyn at the Rees Centre at the University of Oxford and Linda Briheim-Crookall from Coram Voice highlights what children in care felt about their well-being.
The report summarises what was learnt from the 9,472 responses received over 5 years from children in care aged 4 to 18.
The 10,000 voices report includes:
- a full report of research findings
- a summary of key findings and recommendations
- there is also a a video presenting the key findings and recommendations
1. Resources available to assist in the safe recruitment process
Following the 2020 changes for filtering of Enhanced DBS checks information, here are three useful and up to date resources providing clear information to assist in raising the standards of safer recruitment for all who work with children young people and adults at risk.
- Safe and Fair Recruitment
- Better hiring toolkit
- Skills for Care free online masterclasses/resources on Understanding Criminal Records (ROA 1974 & ROA Exceptions Order 1975)
They have been compiled as a collaboration between safeguarding experts at the Better Hiring Institute, the Disclosure and Barring Service, Reed Screening, Skills for Care and Dominic Headley & Associates
With social care staff and volunteers providing support for some of the most vulnerable people in society, the toolkit is focused upon the safety of the people employers are entrusted to care for and the staff who carry out their roles.
Among the key ambitions of the Better Hiring Toolkit are:
- a desire to raise standards in the care sector
- providing a one-stop shop for industry best practice
- encouraging an increase in sharing information – including Barring referrals
A robust and safer approach to sharing effective references and conduct information is the earliest opportunity that organisations have to prevent those who may be unsuitable for work with vulnerable people from securing a role.
Whilst sharing effective references and conduct information for staff working in social care settings has always been an essential part of safe and fair recruitment, many employers experience challenges in obtaining and providing them. Some employers refuse to complete references, others provide insufficient information and sometimes, appropriate ‘evidence of conduct’ is not provided – a legal requirement made by the Care Quality Commission.
2. New funding to support child victims of abuse
The funding will develop early intervention strategies to prevent violence against women and girls, the Safeguarding Minister announced on the 4 January.
More than £10 million has been allocated to organisations providing vital support to children who have survived domestic abuse, such as counselling and 1:1 support. These projects include Welsh Women’s Aid, The Children’s Society and SafeLives.
This will be rolled out through the Children Affected by Domestic Abuse Fund. Originally set up in 2018, this fund has already supported thousands of children and families.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 legally recognised children as victims of domestic abuse in their own right where they see, hear or experience the effects of domestic abuse, and are related to either the perpetrator or victim.
This latest iteration of the Children Affected by Domestic Abuse Fund will provide up to £10.3 million over 3 years and will go to 8 organisations, including over £2.5 million for Welsh Women’s Aid, Exploitation Online, and Surrey PCC, who will develop a public campaign to increase younger people’s understanding of stereotyping, misogyny, sexism and sexual offences to enable them to challenge violence against women and girls.
This funding is part of the government’s commitment to tackle violence against women and girls.
3. A £36 million Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Intervention Fund and new guidance will tackle domestic abuse and stalking
The Home Office has committed up to £18 million per year over 2 years towards the next phase of the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Intervention Fund, bringing the total fund to £36 million.
Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will be given funding to increase the availability of domestic abuse perpetrator intervention schemes in their areas, such as behaviour change programmes, that aim to improve victim safety and reduce the risk posed by abusers.
Since 2020 the Home Office has awarded over £41 million to PCCs across England and Wales.
On the 9 January 2023 the Home Office also published 7 standards which provide commissioners with the guidance they need to commission effective interventions with perpetrators, whilst also ensuring that victims’ safety and welfare remains paramount. These have been created based on existing evidence of perpetrator interventions.
The standards outline the need for interventions to be conducted at the right time and by highly skilled staff. They also outline the importance of holding the perpetrator accountable for their actions and highlight that the priority outcomes for such interventions should be enhanced safety and freedom for victims and survivors.
The publication of the standards and launch of the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Intervention Fund is part of the government’s commitment to tackle domestic abuse, as laid out in the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan.
The plan signifies the government’s continuous efforts to tackle domestic abuse through prioritising prevention, supporting victims, pursuing perpetrators, and building a stronger system. In addition, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 gave clearer guidance as to what constitutes domestic abuse and provides stronger protection for victims of domestic abuse.
Worthy of Note
Two former employees at a residential school have been jailed for a second time for multiple charges of physical and sexual abuse of former pupils.
Matthew George, 73, and John Muldoon, 69, both from Ayrshire, were found guilty after a six-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow. Unusually for such a large case, none of the 28 victims, all of whom are now adults, appeared in court in person. Instead, skilled prosecutors from COPFS (Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service) presented their pre-recorded video testimony.
Former art teacher, George, and ex-care worker, Muldoon, physically and sexually abused children in their care while they were both employed at Kerelaw Residential School in Stevenston, Ayrshire. The pair had previously been jailed in 2006 having been found guilty of a number of similar offences in relation to pupils at the same school.
After more complainers came forward, they stood trial again, appearing at the High Court in Glasgow at the end of last year (2022). The men were found guilty of a total of 55 new charges – George of 39 of these while Muldoon was convicted on 16. The offending covered a 28-year period – from 1975 until 2004 - with 20 male victims and eight female victims. Twenty-one complainers gave ‘evidence by commissioner’, a special measure which enables vulnerable witnesses to have their evidence filmed in advance of the trial under judicial supervision. The High Court heard 29 hours of video testimony from these victims over the course of the trial. Some victims spoke for more than three hours as they recounted their experiences.
Six victims died before having the opportunity to take part in the filming process and another was too unwell to give pre-recorded evidence. However, COPFS prosecutors were able to utilise their prior police statements. The words of these victims were read to the court to ensure their evidence was also available for the jury.
The Crown also reviewed nearly 13,000 pieces of documentary evidence in preparation for trial. Both George and Muldoon had worked for many years at Kerelaw, then known as a ‘List D’ secure establishment for vulnerable or troubled youngsters. Their offending continued until they were suspended from work, a short time prior to the school’s eventual closure.
At the High Court in Dundee on 13 Jan 23, Matthew George was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment. John Muldoon was jailed for 12 years.
1. A surgeon from Salisbury has been convicted of possessing child sexual abuse images
Mansoor Khan, 54, was identified by National Crime Agency investigators after using Snapchat to access the indecent images of children (IIOC).He was arrested by NCA officers on 24 August last year, at which point he said to his wife, “I used to have Snapchat”. His home was searched, along with his office at Salisbury District Hospital.
Officers found 106 IIOC in categories A-C (A being the most severe) on Khan’s mobile phone and a hard drive, which were mostly of boys aged between five and seven. When interviewed, Khan admitted receiving and viewing the IIOC from a contact he’d made on Snapchat. He said he did this out of curiosity and had no intention of promoting, sharing or storing the images.
He admitted searching for ‘Lolita sex’ but denied looking up other terms such as ‘Top 100 little models’, ‘young incest’ and ‘shocking young porn’, despite there being evidence of this on his phone. He denied having any screenshots of the images he’d obtained on his phone, but forensic analysis uncovered three IIOC files which included the name ‘screenshot’ in them. He had sourced these from Wickr Me, a private instant messaging application allowing the exchange of end-to-end encrypted and content-expiring messages, including photos, videos and files.
Khan also used the TOR browser (which allows anonymous browsing and access to the dark web) to search for drugs he was curious about, and that his mobile phone contained a secure folder to store pornographic images of adults. However, he denied using these for child abuse material.
He was charged with three counts of making and possessing indecent images of children and convicted at Salisbury Crown Court on 23 December 2022 following a five-day trial.
He is due to be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 24 February 2023. Khan has been dismissed by Salisbury NHS Foundation trust. The offences he has been convicted of do not relate to any of his patients.
2. Child rapist convicted after decades long catalogue of abuse
A National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation has seen a Lincolnshire man convicted of raping and sexually assaulting children as young as seven over a 20-year period. Christopher Manning, 38, from Grantham, was arrested by NCA officers in February last year, with assistance from Lincolnshire Police, after he was identified as being involved in exchanging indecent images and encouraging the abuse of children online.
During online chats, Manning had stated that he was “into” young children, and claimed to have sexually assaulted a four-year-old girl on several occasions, saying he wanted to video and watch the abuse back. Manning also asked an online contact to send videos of him sexually abusing seven- and 11-year-old children, saying he “…would love to video call and watch your action”.
Further NCA inquiries established that Manning had raped and sexually assaulted young children over the course of many years. His first victim described how, in 1998 when aged seven, she woke to find him in her bed and raping her. The sexual abuse continued every other weekend until she was aged 21.
He also repeatedly raped and sexually abused a vulnerable boy for a decade, between 2004, when the child was seven, and 2014, when Manning felt his victim had become too old to gain sexual gratification from. Manning also sexually assaulted a girl, aged approximately 11, in 2007 by touching her genitals.
In July 2021 he attempted to groom a 13-year-old girl and then proceeded to sexually assault her. The child informed her parents immediately of the crime. He also sought opportunities to engage with girls under 15 on the internet, asking them to send naked indecent images of themselves via Snapchat.
Each of the victims gave evidence during Manning’s 11-day trial at Lincoln Crown Court. Examination of a mobile phone belonging to Manning found that eight different VPNs (Virtual private networks) had been installed on it in an effort to conceal his searches for child abuse images.
Manning was charged with rape, sexual assault and indecent images of children offences. He was convicted by a jury today (20 January) and is due to be sentenced at the same court on 16 March.
3. Sexual abuse imagery of primary school children 1,000 per cent worse since lockdown
Imagery of primary school aged children being coached to perform sexual acts online has soared by more than 1,000 per cent since the UK went into lockdown during the pandemic, new data shows.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) says, since 2019, it has seen a 1,058 per cent increase in the number of webpages showing sexual abuse images and videos of children aged 7-10 who have been recorded via an internet connected device, often by a predator who has contacted them online.
As of January 27 2023 data shows:
In 2022, 63,050 reports related to imagery which had been created of children aged 7-10 who, in many cases, had been groomed, coerced, or tricked into performing sexual acts on camera by an online predator. This is a 129 per cent increase on the 27,550 reports in this category in 2021.
The 2022 figures are a 1,058 per cent increase on the 5,443 such reports in 2019 before the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Of the imagery made of 7-10 year olds in this way in 2022, 14 per cent (8,930 URLs) contained Category A material. This is the most severe kind of material and can include penetrative sexual activity, images involving sexual activity with an animal, or sadism.
2022 has been a record-breaking year for the IWF, with analysts assessing more reports in total, and confirming more online child sexual abuse material than ever before.
Almost two thirds of the material analysts confirmed as child sexual abuse were of a child who had performed a sexual act in front of a camera-enabled device, often after having been coerced or groomed by a predator. The footage was then shared and spread widely on the open web.
January’s data shows:
- In 2022, the IWF investigated a total of 375,230 reports suspected to contain child sexual abuse imagery - an increase of 4% on 2021.
- Of these, 255,580 reports were confirmed to contain images or videos of children suffering sexual abuse.
- This compares to 2021, when the IWF investigated 361,060 reports, 252,000 of which were confirmed as containing child sexual abuse imagery.
- In 2022, 199,360 of the URLs the IWF confirmed as child sexual abuse material contained images and videos made and/or shared via an internet connected device with a camera, as opposed to an abuser being physically present in the room with the victim/s. Often, a child has been groomed, coerced and encouraged by someone interacting with the child online. The amount of this material has increased nine per cent compared to 2021.
Parents are encouraged to follow the TALK checklist to make sure children are kept safe.
- TALK to your child about online sexual abuse. Start the conversation – and listen to their concerns.
- AGREE ground rules about the way you use technology as a family.
- LEARN about the platforms and apps your child loves. Take an interest in their online life.
- KNOW how to use tools, apps and settings that can help to keep your child safe online.
The UK Safer Internet Centre (UK SIC), of which the IWF is part, has free teaching toolkits which are available to schools.
Project EVOLVE resources have been written for schools by a team of experts at the UK Safer Internet Centre. It’s up to date, relevant, and engaging.
Romance scams involve people being duped into sending money to criminals who go to great lengths to gain their trust and convince them that they are in a genuine relationship. They use language to manipulate, persuade and exploit so that requests for money do not raise alarm bells. These requests might be highly emotive, such as criminals claiming they need money for emergency medical care, or to pay for transport costs to visit the victim if they are overseas. Scammers will often build a relationship with their victims over time.
Signs your friend or family member may be involved in a romance scam:
- They may be very secretive about their relationship or provide excuses for why their online partner has not video called or met them in person. They might become hostile or angry, and withdraw from conversation when you ask any questions about their partner
- They may express very strong emotions and commitment to someone they have only just met
- They have sent, or are planning to send, money to someone they have not met face-to-face. They may take out loans or withdraw from their pension to send money.
How users can stay safe from romance scams:
- Be suspicious of any requests for money from someone you have never met in person, particularly if you have only recently met online.
- Speak to your family or friends to get advice.
- Profile photos may not be genuine, do your research first. Performing a reverse image search on a search engine can find photos that have been taken from somewhere, or someone, else.
It is important that no matter how long you’ve been speaking to someone online and how much you think you trust them, if you have not met them in person it’s important that you do not:
- Send them any money
- Allow them access to your bank account
- Transfer money on their behalf
- Take a loan out for them
- Provide copies of your personal documents such as passports or driving licenses
- Invest your own money on their behalf or on their advice
- Purchase and send the codes on gift cards from Amazon or iTunes
- Agree to receive and/or send parcels on their behalf (laptops, mobile phones etc.)
How to report it
If you think you have been a victim of a romance scam, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed - you are not alone. Contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk
If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.
Reasons to Remain Vigilant in All Aspects of Safeguarding
1. Former GP jailed for life for sexually assaulting patients
A doctor who persuaded women and teenage girls to undertake invasive medical examinations under the guise of genuine need has been jailed for life. Manish Shah, 53, was convicted of a total of 115 sexual assault offences against 28 female victims over three separate trials at the Central Criminal Court. Some of his victims were as young as 15 years old.
His crimes first came to light in June 2013 when a 15-year-old girl complained to her parents that Dr Shah had hugged and kissed her. Another patient said Shah had examined her breasts and tried to conduct her smear test, though she refused.
An investigation brought to light dozens of other victims who Shah had assaulted, often after pressurising them or misleading them about the purpose of the examinations he proposed carrying out. Through his position as a GP, he abused the trust of his patients, convincing them that they needed further intimate examinations to rule out serious health problems, often ignoring the conditions they had in fact gone to see him about.
Shah was most recently found guilty of 25 sexual assault charges involving four victims on December 14 following his third trial at the Central Criminal Court. He was given three life sentences in February 2020 with a minimum of 15 years after he was convicted of 90 charges of sexual assault involving 24 patients following trials in 2018 and 2019.
At his first trial in December 2018, Shah was convicted of 65 offences involving 18 victims before a jury found him guilty of a further 25 offences against six victims at his second trial in March 2019. Shah was given two further life sentences, with a minimum term of 10 years' imprisonment, at the Central Criminal Court.
2. Couple jailed for modern slavery
A couple have been jailed after keeping a family member in “appalling” slavery for more than four years – even forcing the woman to give up a new-born child. The victim was subjected to violence and intimidation by relatives who stole thousands of pounds from her in wages.
The main offender, her 51-year-old aunt Julia Rafaelova, had persuaded the victim to travel to the UK from Slovakia in October 2013 having fallen pregnant during forced prostitution controlled by Julia. The victim was promised a better life and to be reunited with the rest of her family.
When the pregnant victim arrived she discovered the other family members were not in the UK. She stayed in an overcrowded property in Saxon Road, Peterborough, and slept on a mattress on the kitchen floor.
She was forced to clean the house, cook meals for the family and even shoplift. If she failed to do so she was beaten by Julia or her aunt’s partner Milan Nemeth, 49.
On 22 November 2013, social services attended the victim’s address where her cousin Skarletta Rafaelova, 32, translated false information, and along with accounts from Julia the victim was forced to give the child up for adoption.
Five days later, on 28 November, the victim’s child was born, knowing she was unable to keep the baby and unable to speak English the victim left the hospital the same day, returning to her exploitation.
In November at Peterborough Crown Court Julia Rafaelova, Milan Nemeth and Skarletta Rafaelova were convicted of multiple charges, including slavery and child abduction after being found guilty following trial.
On the 12 January at the same court Julia Rafaelova was jailed for ten years and Milan Nemeth was jailed for two years.
Skarletta Rafaelova was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.
3. Man jailed for voyeurism and indecent images offences
A man from Waltham Forest who covertly recorded women and children and stored more than 12,000 indecent images of children has been jailed. Dean Gordon, 41 of Rosewood Court, Leytonstone, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 16 January having previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making and ten counts of taking indecent photographs of children; possession of extreme pornographic images and possession of a prohibited image of a child.
He also admitted sexually assaulting a young girl and six counts of voyeurism. He was sentenced to six years and eight months’ imprisonment.
On the 11 August 2021, officers from the Online Child Sex Abuse and Exploitation Team (OCSAE), based in North East BCU, executed a search warrant at Gordon’s home address and numerous devices were seized, which contained numerous videos of children being covertly recorded naked.
Gordon was arrested and officers searched his address for over the course of three days with the help of a specialist search team. Numerous covert camera devices were found, including a water bottle with a hidden camera and numerous coat hooks with hidden cameras installed as well.
Over 200 exhibits were seized and officers conducted months’ long trawl of every single digital device to uncover victims and his abuse.
A number of child and adult female victims, who were all known to Gordon, were located who had no idea they had been secretly recorded by him. In total, Gordon had 12,529 indecent images of children, including over 2,000 of the most serious Category A images. This included 436 images of the numerous child victims he covertly recorded for his own sexual gratification.
Gordon befriended families with young female children and then covertly recorded the children naked or semi-naked. In one case, he sexually abused a young girl whilst she lay asleep and recorded himself abusing her. He also covertly recorded multiple woman naked as well.
Due to the amount of evidence, Gordon pleaded guilty at his first appearance at Thames Magistrates’ Court 15 August 2022.
4. Police Officer pleads guilty to child sexual offences
A serving Met officer has pleaded guilty to child sexual offences following an investigation by Specialist Crime detectives,
PC Hussain Chehab, aged 22, attached to North Area Command Unit, pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday, 24 January to:
- Four counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13-15; these took place between 1 March 2019 and September 2019 and pre-dated his service in the Met
- Three counts of making indecent photographs of a child;
- One count of engaging in sexual communication with a child.
No verdict was recorded in a further four counts of making indecent photographs of a child and so the Judge ordered they be left to lie on file. Chehab was released on bail for sentencing at the same court on Friday, 17 March.
Following his guilty plea an accelerated misconduct process has been initiated and will be held as quickly as possible.
On Tuesday, 13 September 2022, he was charged with the above offences.
Anyone with any information about a police officer or member of staff who works for the Met and is corrupt, abusing their position and power, can call the Anti-Corruption and Abuse Hotline, run by Independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 085 0000 or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
New Year jobseekers urged to watch out for 7 signs of job scams
Jobseekers are being put on alert for the 7 signs of scams that could leave them out of pocket and at risk of identity fraud.
January and February are acknowledged within the recruitment industry as peak job search months – providing prime opportunities for scammers to exploit.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is working with JobsAware to raise awareness of job scams that might lead people down the path of sharing identity details, and even their own money, in the mistaken belief they are in line for new employment. Here are some red flags to watch out for:
1. Poorly written job adverts
It is important that the job you are applying for sounds legitimate. It should include roles and responsibilities, desired experience, working hours and expectations, and salary. Job adverts that withhold basic information should be treated as suspicious.
2. Suspicious contact details
Are the contact details legitimate? Look out for a direct contact person or email address. Be wary if there is no point of contact linked with a job advert.
3. Unrealistic salary
Does the salary not seem to match the role? This could be a way of drawing you into a role that does not actually exist in order to gather personal information or bank details.
4. A job offer without an interview
Being offered a job automatically without having met a member of the hiring company is automatically a red flag. You should always ask to meet face-to-face or online with the hiring manager.
5. Being asked for money
Don’t ever send money before starting a job. This includes for training, uniforms, or DBS checks. These, in most instances, should be provided by the employer.
6. Illegitimate companies or illegitimate emails
If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a company, you can check this using Companies House via GOV UK.
7. UK domains
If the domain is outside the UK, ensure to look into the company further. Online jobs can be legitimate but require extra vigilance.
If you suspect you have been targeted by, or have been the victim of a job scam, there are a number of ways to report this, including via the JobsAware portal. They will investigate and take further action, if necessary.
If you have parted with money as part of a suspected job scam, please contact the police and they will take the matter further.