Safeguarding News July 2021

Dear Colleague,

Welcome to another packed safeguarding news round up. With upcoming changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education and the way in which Ofsted will focus upon DBS checks for Children’s Social Care Services, SAFEcic is continuing to offer a free, no obligation, 30 minutes Zoom or phone consultation to help people navigate what the changes mean for them. To book your appointment email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To further help  those preparing for the new academic year, SAFEcic also continues to offer a special 15% discount for mix and match online training, SAFEcic members benefit from a further 10% discount and, as SAFEcic is a trusted NCVO supplier,  NCVO members get a further 25% discount.

Update Your Bookmarks!

SAFEcic' free hub resources by setting have been relocated and are now available on the links below:

Education | Dental | Charities GP & Primary Medical Services | Fath Groups | Entertainment & Leisure | Working Overseas |


The police don’t tolerate hate crime: Why should you?

True Vision is a police funded web site designed to provide you with information about hate crime. The police will record any crime as a hate crime where the victim or any other person perceives it was motivated by hostility or prejudice towards their identity.

Legislation & Bills

Statutory and Good Practice Guidance

1. Two updated Education guidance publications have been published but do not come into effect until September 1 2021.

As a result of a public consultation Statutory Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 has been updated and is in draft form Statutory Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021. Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges 2018 is also in draft form , Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges 2021. Both 2021 documents will commence on September 1 2021

Keeping Children safe in education 2021 Annex G  provides a table of substantive changes from September 2021 page 161  and they are also outlined in SAFEcic’s Briefing Paper

2. Disclosure and Barring Service: guidance for children's social care providers and managers updated July 6 2021 has been published for children’s social care providers and managers.

This guidance describes what DBS checks are needed  and how Ofsted will check and evaluate the use of the DBS checks and certificates on inspection.

The guidance covers these children’s social care services:

  • adoption support agencies
  • children’s homes, including secure children’s homes
  • independent fostering agencies
  • residential family centres
  • residential holiday schemes for disabled children
  • voluntary adoption agencies
  • local authority adoption and fostering services (as a good practice guide)

DBS certificates provide certain information about a person’s criminal record history at a point in time, subject to filtering, and may contain information about their suitability to work with children. Information in certificates must always be considered alongside other relevant information to determine a person’s suitability to work with children.

Employers must understand whether the work a person carries out, or will carry out, makes them eligible for a DBS check and what level of DBS check to get.

There is an online DBS eligibility tool available to help find out which DBS check is right for your employee.

You must take account of changes to the legislative framework for DBS certificates so that you remain up to date with the requirements. The DBS will only provide enhanced checks for very specific roles. If any role is unlikely to include regulated activity, it must be  risk assessed  to confirm that a Basic, and in some cases, a Standard check is appropriate.

Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research and Inquiries

Eight new Case Reviews published

1. Abstract: Serious and potentially life-threatening incident to a 4-year-old boy in July 2019. Child O was taken to hospital after accidentally swallowing Gamma-ButryoLactone (GBL) he found in his mother's handbag. Child O lived with extended family under a Special Guardianship Order (SGO). Child O was alone with Mother when the incident happened, contrary to the SGO agreement. Concerns raised about neglect due to parents' misuse of drugs. A Child Protection Plan was made for Child O but was unsuccessful in reducing risks. Father was convicted of child neglect in 2015 when he was found in-charge of Child O under the influence of drugs. Child O was accommodated under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 and placed with his grandmother. A police investigation was underway but not concluded. Care proceedings were initiated for Child O and sibling which concluded in 2020. Ethnicity and nationality not stated. Learning looks at: the support offered to the family under the SGO and the quality of the support plan; robustness of the communication between local authorities (LAs) including how safeguarding referrals were raised; adult mental health; domestic abuse and MARAC involvement; issues arising from management oversight and supervision information. Recommendations include: review training programs about the legislations, governing and meaning of different types of placements such as SGOs, Children Looked After (CLA) and adoptive placements that are open to LAs when considering the future of children who are unable to live with their birth parents; oversee a multi-agency review of current arrangements for Children in Need that are also subject to SGOs.

2. Abstract: Death of a 10-year-old boy in August 2020. James died because of restricted airways after his mother gave him an excess does of Melatonin, prescribed to help him settle at night, and put him to bed with a sponge in his mouth. Mother reported to police that she had “killed her son” and subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility. James was a boy with severe learning disabilities and a complex range of disorders. James had a degenerative visual impairment and hearing loss. In March 2020 Mother decided to keep James at home due to health risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mother was concerned about stress related to finances and her divorce; she was diagnosed with depression in 2018. Mother and Father divorced in 2017, and Father moved to Spain. Mother was a Russian national, Father English. Learning includes: there was a significant level of contact between the family and agencies, services were maintained and there was multi-agency oversight; during this contact James's mother was inconsistent in her presentation; James's mother refused offers of support through Children in Need services; there was no contact between agencies and James's father. Recommendations include: collaborate and co-produce with disabled children and their parents, information about and service delivery of child in need services; review information provided to parents about the Direct Payment System and their responsibilities to inform funders of situations where family members or partners are employed; review the approach to engagement of fathers as single agencies and as a partnership.

3. Abstract: Sexual abuse of several children by their foster carer between 2007 and 2019. Foster carer (FC1) and his wife (FC2) were registered with a private fostering agency and had fostered forty children from five different local authorities between 2007 and 2020, usually as mother and baby placements. They had never been approved as local authority foster carers but had worked for three private fostering agencies. Early in 2020 FC1 told police that he was a paedophile and had sexually abused several children in his care. FC1 was charged with offences of oral rape and sexual assault on children under 13-years-old relating to four of the children, and sexual activity in the presence of a child which covered unidentified victims. He received a lengthy prison sentence. Ethnicity or nationality not stated. Learning includes: while there were no obvious physical injuries to the young children victimised by FC1 there will be potential long-term impacts on their health and wellbeing; training about the "invisible male" should also be used to consider situations where foster carers and other professionals are providing care and support in their own homes; the identification of child sexual abuse in particular with regard to children who are pre-language or have significant language or communication difficulties. Makes no recommendations but sets out actions including: regional event to be developed to share learning on: understanding and avoiding the impact of professional bias; ensuring neither foster carer is an "invisible party"; understanding perpetrator profiles; and sexual abuse of babies and pre-verbal infants.

4. Abstract: Death of a 4-month-old infant in May 2018 whilst in the care of a family member overnight. Police initiated an investigation but no charges were made. Child A1 lived with her parents; Mother and Father were known to Early Help and Health Services in respect of antenatal and postnatal care. At the time of her death, Child A1 was being cared for by her paternal aunt, who placed her on the sofa and then fell asleep after consuming alcohol. When she woke up she found Child A1 lifeless. An ambulance was called, and Child A1 was confirmed dead at hospital. Paternal Aunt had two children; both were made subject to Child Protection Plans in March 2018 under the category of emotional and physical abuse. There were also concerns about alcohol misuse. Ethnicity or nationality not stated. Identifies an area of learning for Children's Services as to the extent to which the Child Protection Plan in respect of Paternal Aunt's household included any risk to other children. Recommendations: ensure that Special Circumstances Forms generated by midwifery services are shared by key agencies, such as general practitioners (GPs) and health visitors; ensure that information sharing and discussion take place routinely between midwifery and GP practices where issues are identified, and concerns are raised in order to understand the holistic family circumstances; where parental alcohol and substance misuse are risk factors, practitioners are able to consider any other caring responsibilities for children including babysitting arrangements.

5. Abstract: Injuries to an 8-week-old girl in 2019. Beatrice was taken to a walk-in centre concerning a rash and was found to have unexplained bruising. An ambulance was called and Beatrice was taken to hospital where scans showed 13 fractures to ribs and legs of differing ages. Beatrice's parents did not live together. Father suffered from depression, had anger issues and was diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrome. Mother had made allegations of sexual abuse against her father, and had a history of self-harm and suicidal ideation. Father had attempted suicide previously and Mother had a history of risk taking. Concerns over both parents not taking prescription medication. Family proceedings and criminal investigation were in progress at the time of writing the review. Ethnicity and nationality not stated. Learning includes: local authorities should liaise around support to care leavers living across boundaries; where there is a history as a care leaver, background information should be sought from the responsible authority; police should take a more holistic view of a person's circumstances and consider information sharing to protect a child, even in cases where the child is not yet born. Recommendations include: agencies working with care leavers must be aware of the right for care leavers for service provision up to the age of 25-years-old; request guidance on information sharing between local authorities where care leavers are not living in the area of the responsible authority; ensure information sharing policies are in place and include all cases, not just those managed under formal child protection procedures.

6. Abstract Death of a 9-month-old infant, from heart failure and chest infection in April 2016. Baby KK was born prematurely and experienced health problems including bronchiolitis, sepsis and injuries requiring nine hospital admissions during his life. Baby KK's 2- year-old sibling was born when mother was 17 and father was 20 years of age. The family lived in supported accommodation. Mother frequently accessed hospital ante-natal services during her pregnancy with Baby KK. Evidence of domestic abuse which was not disclosed. Involvement of children's social care and concerns, including two referrals to the NSPCC, about unhygienic home conditions and child neglect. Both children were made the subject of child protection plans when Baby KK was 3-months-old. Uses the SCIE Learning Together model for case reviews, a systems approach which provides a theory and method for understanding why good and poor practice occur. Key findings: need for understanding of roles in partnership working relationships so that opportunities for review and assessment of a child needs are not missed; tendency for hospital professionals to focus on the presenting illness or injury and not to consider other explanations; limited involvement of hospital professionals in safeguarding work; reluctance of general practitioners to refer directly to children's social care; and the fluctuating nature of neglect and the inconsistent ability of parents may undermine professionals' ability to see and respond to neglectful parenting. Makes no recommendations but poses several considerations for the safeguarding board and partner agencies for the eight findings identified.

7. Abstract: Death of a 4-month-old boy in May 2016. Baby LL was found dead by his father. The post mortem identified the cause of death as acute pneumonia. Baby LL had lived with his father, mother and sibling. Baby LL and sibling were the subject of child protection plans under the category of neglect, and children's services worked with the family due to concerns around the care of both children. The family had been in contact with the police, accident and emergency services and children's services following referrals due to concerns around the children, and due to injuries to Baby LL's sibling. Father had previously been in prison for failing to protect another of his children from physical abuse, and mother had an older child in care due to emotional abuse and neglect. Child LL's ethnicity or nationality are not stated. Uses the SCIE Learning Together systems model. Findings include: issues of professional psychiatric opinion undermining social workers' views on the risks posed by parents; the need for consistent safeguarding practices in paediatric and accident and emergency teams, so that opportunities to identify hidden injuries are not missed; professionals sharing information on the presenting evidence, but not always clearly communicating underlying concerns and relevant historical information; GPs should have access to the records of family members, to understand a family's history and be aware of risk factors and past child protection concerns; the importance of professionals understanding financial challenges faced by families, and identifying risks that financial pressures may pose to children.

8. Abstract Injury of a 12-week-old girl, taken to hospital in January 2017 with a skull fracture. Parents stated that Mother dropped Child K during a domestic abuse incident. Police attended the family home one day prior to Child K's hospitalisation, where Sibling disclosed physical and domestic abuse by Father. Parents and Sibling were interviewed by police and children's services. Following Child K's injury, parents were convicted of 'causing injury to a child' and given community sentences; Child K and her Sibling were made the subject of care proceedings. Parents had a history of contact with children's services and police due to domestic abuse and physical abuse by the Father. Child K's ethnicity or nationality are not stated. Learning includes: although guidance and procedures do not differentiate between day time and out of hours child protection situations, in practice out of hours services cannot fully replicate daytime services; inter-agency strategy discussions should be held whatever the circumstances for child protection enquiries; clarify in emergency situations if children are protected and accommodated under Section 20 or Section 46 of the Children Act 1989; written agreements, asking that one parent ensures there is no contact between another parent and their children, may not be realistic and may provide false assurance in cases of domestic abuse. Recommendations include: consider how effective current police structure is in ensuring that Warwickshire Police can fulfil their roles as stated in Working Together to Safeguard Children; Warwickshire Police to consider whether officers involved in child protection investigations have sufficient participation in interagency safeguarding training.

The Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published further updates on institutional responses to its recommendations.

  1. To date 68 recommendations have been made by the Chair and Panel and published as part of the conclusions in the Inquiry’s Interim and investigation reports, helping to better protect children from sexual abuse. 
    The update relates to a range of recommendations from the Inquiry as part of its investigation reports, including Accountability and Reparations, Children in Custodial Institutions, Internet and Westminster.

    The update also includes the most recent recommendations from the Inquiry’s reports into the Anglican and Catholic Churches.

    The Inquiry’s dedicated recommendations section brings together the 68 recommendations addressed to a range of institutions, including government departments and agencies, made by the Inquiry so far. This section of the website sets out the published responses made by institutions, as well as outlining any additional steps taken or progress made.

    The monitoring of responses to recommendations is part of a formal process established by the Inquiry. We expect institutions to set out how they plan to respond, within six months of the recommendation being published.

  2. The Inquiry has also published its  research findings that child sex abuses use similar tactics to groom children in Institutions. Tactics exploited by perpetrators working in institutions enable child sexual abuse to continue even today, according to an unprecedented research study from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Based on analysis of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) case files between 2017 - 2020, the research examines the offending strategies of alleged perpetrators across a wide range of contemporary institutional contexts, such as schools, sport and foster care, as well as the nature of abuse and responses of professionals.Across the 43 cases examined, alleged perpetrators used similar methodical grooming strategies, including: 
  • targeting and isolating children;
  • building friendships which developed into sexually abusive ‘relationships’, based on trust and codependency with children;
  • befriending children’s friends and families over time. 

The research revealed that alleged perpetrators, such as teachers and sports coaches, harnessed their professional reputations and authority to manipulate other adults, and perpetrate child sexual abuse undetected. Creating cultures of fear, they threatened, blackmailed or intimidated children to deter them from reporting the child sexual abuse and with limited opportunities for disclosure, children often had no one to turn to. 

Informal social relationships, social gatherings and contact between adults and children was normalised within institutions, whilst technology, in particular social media, was found to provide new opportunities for adults working in institutions to access and sexually abuse children. 

The research report reveals that in many cases, individuals denied the allegations or constructed a mitigation narrative to justify, explain or minimise the child sexual abuse. This included framing sexually abusive relationships as consensual and romantic, or putting the blame on the child. Some alleged perpetrators claimed that they had made “mistakes” or “poor judgements” whilst others disputed that they held ‘positions of trust’, therefore safeguarding policies did not apply to them, and had therefore not been breached.

There were also a number of examples where the institutions did not believe children’s disclosures, in particular in cases where alleged perpetrators denied the allegations against them. In some cases, it was clear that institutions chose to preserve the alleged perpetrator’s reputation and their own, above protecting children who reported child sexual abuse.

The research also found that there were numerous missed opportunities to safeguard children because concerns were not escalated and institutions and staff did not always share, record and respond appropriately. A lack of coordination with agencies, weak vetting processes and poor record keeping allowed individuals to offend multiple times within institutions, or to continue offending across institutional contexts and over long periods of time. There were also instances where the onus was placed on the alleged perpetrators to declare their own criminal histories.

Despite significant safeguarding policies being in place, these were not upheld and inaction or institutional complacency enabled alleged perpetrators to operate without being detected and continue to sexually abuse children. 

Principal researcher Julienne Zammit said:

“This ground breaking research provides new insight into the behaviour of perpetrators across contemporary institutional contexts, finding the use of similar tactics to groom and sexually abuse children. Alleged perpetrators denied or minimised the sexual abuse, in some cases even blaming the victim. 

“Sexually abusive relationships were often framed as consensual and social media was frequently exploited to groom and perpetrate child sexual abuse, providing access to children in unsupervised and unmonitored online spaces.

“Where reports were made, opportunities to safeguard children were missed or actively blocked because concerns were not escalated and disclosures were not always believed. In some cases, it was clear that institutions chose to put their reputation above protecting children who reported child sexual abuse.”

Survivors of child sexual abuse can share their experiences with the Inquiry's Truth Project over the phone, via video call or in writing. Visit for more information.

Children in the care of Lambeth Council were subjected to levels of cruelty and sexual abuse that are hard to comprehend, a new report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has found. The Inquiry is calling for a criminal investigation to be considered into the handling of the case of a child who died in care. Children in care were found to be pawns in a toxic power game within Lambeth Council and between the Council and central government.

‘Children in the care of Lambeth Council’ examined the scale and nature of the sexual abuse experienced by children in the care of Lambeth Council over several decades since the 1960s. The report found one of the council’s biggest care homes, Shirley Oaks, received allegations of sexual abuse against 177 members of staff or individuals connected with the home, involving at least 529 former residents. By June 2020, the Council had complaints of sexual abuse from 705 former residents. Despite this, over 40 years, the Council only discliplined one senior employee for their part in the catalogue of sexual abuse. 

During the public hearings the Inquiry heard of LA-A2, who was found dead in a bathroom at Shirley Oaks in 1977. Lambeth Council did not inform the coroner that he had alleged he was sexually abused by Donald Hosegood, his ‘house father’. As a result, the Inquiry is recommending the Metropolitan Police Service should consider whether there are grounds for a criminal investigation, examining Lambeth Council's actions when providing information to the coroner about the circumstances surrounding LA-A2’s death.

Shirley Oaks and South Vale care homes were found to be brutal places where violence and sexual assault were allowed to flourish. Another of the council’s care homes, Angell Road, was found to have systematically exposed children (including those under the age of five years) to sexual abuse.  The report finds that the true scale of the sexual abuse against children in Lambeth’s care will never be known, but it is certain to be significantly higher than is formally recorded.

There were many Black children in Lambeth Council’s care. In Shirley Oaks in 1980, 57 percent of children in its care were Black. During 1990 and 1991, 85 percent of children who lived at South Vale were Black. Racism was evident in the hostile and abusive treatment towards them by some staff.

Lambeth Council was found to have a culture dominated by politicised behaviour and turmoil during the 1980s. The report reveals that the desire to take on the government and avoid setting a council tax rate resulted in 33 councillors being removed from their positions in 1986. Bullying, intimidation, racism, nepotism and sexism were found to have thrived within the Council, all within a context of corruption and financial mismanagement, which permeated much of the Council’s operations.

Lambeth Council has accepted that children in its care were sexually abused and that it failed them. Their representative at the Inquiry gave a full apology on behalf of the Council, acknowledging that Lambeth Council “created and oversaw conditions … where appalling and absolutely shocking and horrendous abuse was perpetrated”.

The report concluded the Council’s apology to the Inquiry was fulsome, but noted it did not make any meaningful apology until relatively recently. This is despite the many investigations and inspections over 20 years which made clear the duty of care it failed to deliver to so many child victims of sexual abuse.

The report makes four recommendations, which can be summarised as:

  1. A response and action plan from Lambeth Council on the issues raised in this report
  2. Mandatory training for elected councillors on safeguarding and corporate parenting
  3. Review of recruitment and vetting checks of current foster carers and children’s home staff
  4. The Metropolitan Police Service to consider whether a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding LA-A2’s death is necessary

The full details of these recommendations can be found in ‘Part K: Conclusions and recommendations’.

Professor Alexis Jay, Chair of the Inquiry said:

“Over several decades children in residential and foster care suffered levels of cruelty and sexual abuse that are hard to comprehend.”

“These children became pawns in a toxic power game within Lambeth Council and between the Council and central government.”

“For many years bullying, intimidation, racism, nepotism and sexism thrived within the Council, and all against a backdrop of corruption and financial mismanagement.”

“There was a vicious and regressive culture, for which a succession of leading elected members were mainly  responsible, aided and abetted in some instances by self-serving senior officials.”

“This all contributed to allowing children in their care to suffer the most horrendous sexual abuse, with just one senior council employee disciplined for their part in it.”

“We hope this report and our recommendations will ensure abuse on this scale never happens again.”

Other News

Around 100 potential victims have been identified and 38 people arrested following a week long law enforcement crackdown targeting child traffickers.

The activity, which took place in the week of 28 June, was the latest strand of Project Aidant, the National Crime Agency (NCA) -led law enforcement response to modern slavery and human trafficking.

It was also part of a Europe-wide operation, co-ordinated in the UK by the NCA’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit, and involved 19 police forces from across the UK, as well as other partners including Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, British Transport Police, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions.

In the year ending 2020, 4,946 children entered the National Referral Mechanism claiming to be victims of trafficking and exploitation in the UK. Once trafficked, children are often sold on into forms of modern slavery and exploitation, including forced criminality, labour, and sexual exploitation.

Of those arrested, 18 were for child criminal and drug related exploitation, 11 were for sexual exploitation, while the rest were for a variety of offences including domestic servitude, labour exploitation and general trafficking.

In all 99 potential victims were identified through a range of law enforcement activity initiating 51 new investigations. Although the activity targeted those exploiting children, a number of adult potential victims were also located as a result of the work, with 72 children and 27 adults identified. Of these, 55 safeguarding referrals were submitted via the National Referral Mechanism.

The intensification period saw increased police presence at London tube and rail stations where suspected victims of child trafficking were thought to be forced to work as pick pockets.

The NCA and Metropolitan Police Service also searched what they suspected to be a brothel where young Romanian girls and women were allegedly being exploited in East London. The search officers didn’t encounter any children, but they did find several Romanian women working in distressing conditions and being sold for as low as £20 per hour for sex work. DWP investigators have also begun an investigation into potentially fraudulent claims being made by people at the address.

Due to the poor conditions of the premises and reports of anti-social behaviour, the Metropolitan Police Service will be taking steps to close the brothel and safeguard the potential victims.

Police Scotland identified and safeguarded five minors that had allegedly been trafficked to the UK, launching five new investigations.

Border Force officers also carried out additional checks at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles to detect potential victims of trafficking travelling through UK juxtaposed controls, finding a Romanian male travelling in a minibus, coming to work in the UK for the first time with no work permit. His travelling companions had recruited him from his village and paid for his travel and documentation. He expected to earn just £40 a day. The man has been safeguarded due to his perceived vulnerability and obvious signs of distress.

5. Liam Harrison from the NCA’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit said: “This activity, which was months in the making, identified and safeguarded victims of child trafficking and disrupted those controlling them.

“Our joint work across the week has also sparked a number of new investigations and it is expected that these results will rise over the coming weeks as our operational activity continues.”

The joint week of action was part of a wider EMPACT intensification which involved partners from across Europe. The wider activity saw a total of 175 arrests and 187 potential victims identified across Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Worthy of Note

1. IntelliGrade is a powerful new tool that enables analysts to accurately grade child sexual abuse images and videos, while automatically generating unique hashes (digital fingerprints) which are used to identify and eliminate these images wherever they appear. 

What makes IntelliGrade different to other technology, is that it allows us to enrich these hashes with additional contextual metadata. 

A key benefit of this enrichment process is that hashes generated by IntelliGrade are compatible with child sexual abuse laws and classifications in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Interpol Baseline standard.

This means we can provide a dataset of hashes of child sexual abuse imagery which is compatible with multiple legal jurisdictions around the world. 

This gives reassurance to some of the world’s biggest – and smallest – tech companies so that they can better protect their customers, and better protect children whose abuse images are shared online.

And it gives peace of mind to those survivors of child sexual abuse that we can now fight back, together.

“Harmonising child sexual abuse laws around the world would be a major step in enabling all of us to better fight back against those who share child sexual abuse imagery online. But we can’t wait for a day that might never happen. 

“IntelliGrade  does that for us. At IWF, we’re enriching the hashes (digital fingerprints) of millions of child sexual abuse images to create one, harmonised, world-compatible dataset.”

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO.

Speak to IWF about how you can get access to the IWF Hash List and become part of something ground-breaking. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +44 (0)1223 20 30 30.

2. A man has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison (14 July 2021)   at Portsmouth Crown Court for defrauding two elderly victims of nearly £35,000.

Sam Kimmence, aged 25 and from Essex, pleaded guilty to fraud offences at an earlier hearing in April 2021.

The elderly victims, who were in their late 70’s and 80’s, had previously been clients of Kimmence when he worked as Senior Trader at Equine Global Sports Limited, a company which subsequently went into liquidation.  The company received money from customers which it would use to place bets on horse races, on their behalf.

After this company ceased trading, Kimmence contacted two of his previous clients and pretended that he would continue to invest their money in the same way, when in fact he used their money to fund his lifestyle, such as paying for restaurant bills, booking a hotel in Ibiza and buying clothes.

Simon Clark, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “Kimmence acted despicably when he duped his former clients in to believing that he had set up a new company with which they could safely invest their money.

“The CPS used witness statements, financial records, receipts and mobile phone evidence to prove that Kimmence had not invested a single penny of the thousands of pounds he had fraudulently obtained from his victims.

“The CPS is committed to working alongside the government and law enforcement to provide a multi-agency response to combat investment fraud.  CPS prosecutors work to seek justice in a variety of cases including those that cause the greatest harm to the public especially vulnerable victims.”

3. A drunk care home assistant attacked a dementia-suffering elderly patient after downing two bottles of red wine.

Paula Bailey pulled and then tried to hide a clump of hair from the woman's scalp as she assaulted her while the victim, in her 80s, was lying in bed.

When a fellow worker walked past the room where the defendant was supposed to be looking after the victims, she saw blood on the bed.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how when she went through the door she found Bailey slumped unconscious due to drink on a chair and the two empty bottles in her bag.

And just weeks before the 49-year-old had attacked her own mother in exactly the same way and who she was also the full-time carer for.

Jailing her for 26 months, Judge Steven Coupland said: "What you did was inexplicable, each of the assaults was on unprovoked and on an elderly and vulnerable victim who was in your care.

"The assault on your mother happened when you lost your temper due to excess drink.

"She sadly died in January of this year but she lived the last six-to-seven months of her life with the knowledge of what you did to her.

"You pulled clumps of hair out from both victims and struck them to the face. 

"You have worked in the car industry for 35 years and never before has there been a complaint about you. 

"You breached the trust that was placed in you." 

Kat Shield, prosecuting, said all of the offences took place during the summer of last year. 

She said at the time Bailey, of Long Eaton was working at Acacia Care Home, in Sherwood Rise, Sherwood, Nottingham. 

Miss Shields said the first two assaults took place on her mother while the second while she was at the care home looking after the victim in her room overnight. 

She said: "At 1am a colleague walked past the room and could see there was blood coming from the right side of the victim's mouth. 

"She went in and found Miss Bailey slumped in a chair and in a bag next to her were two bottles of wine. 

"She was intoxicated, a clump of hair from the victim was on her thigh. 

"As she roused the defendant tried to hide it down the side of the chair. 

"(The victim) had skin loss to her forehead and a laceration to her lip." 

Miss Shields said an investigation was launched and the police became involved. 

She said both women have since died although not at a result of the attacks on them. 

Bailey, of Clumber Street, cried as she was taken down and previously pleaded guilty to three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of wilful neglect. 

The court heard how she has one previous conviction for drink-driving from 2020 when she was found to be four times the legal limit. 

Matt Smith, mitigating, unsuccessfully urged Judge Coupland to suspend any term of imprisonment on his client. 

He said: "Her life went downhill following the breakdown of a long-term relationship. 

"She was expected to care for two women - one in a professional capacity and one familial - and she is genuinely sorry for the way she behaved." 

A spokesperson for Acacia Care Home said in a previous statement to Nottinghamshire Live: “The health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone living in our homes are our highest priorities, and we will always act to protect them.

“This individual’s behaviour goes against everything we stand for as an organisation. When the incident was discovered in 2020, we took immediate action to contact the appropriate authorities, suspend the individual, investigate, and terminate their employment. 

“This historic situation in no way represents the care provided at the home today, or the kindness and compassion of our team. The home remains committed to ensuring all colleagues uphold the high standards of care that Residents expect and deserve. We have a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour and will always take swift and comprehensive action against any individual that breaches the trust placed in them.”

4. The lasting power of attorney process of managing a loved one’s affairs is to be strengthened and modernised under major reforms announced yesterday.

  • New and improved safeguards to protect against fraud and abuse
  • Process to be made simpler and easy to use
  • Shift to predominantly digital service

The number of registered lasting powers of attorney (LPA) has increased drastically in recent years to more than five million, but the process of making one retains many paper-based features that are over 30 years old.

A 12-week consultation launched today will examine the entire process of creating and registering an LPA – with a view to boosting the Office of the Public Guardian’s (OPG) powers to prevent fraud and abuse while introducing a mainly digital service.

It will examine how technology can be used to reform the process of witnessing, improve access and speed up the service. The consultation will propose widening the OPG’s legal powers to check identities and stop or delay any registrations that raise concern. It will also look at making the process for objecting to the registration of an LPA simpler to help stop potentially abusive LPAs.

The proposed changes will fundamentally alter and update a process that has been in place for decades. While the service will become predominantly digital, alternatives such as paper will remain for those unable to use the internet.

Justice Minister, Alex Chalk MP, said:

A lasting power of attorney provides comfort and security to millions of people as they plan for old age. These changes will make the service quicker to use, easy to access and even more secure from fraud.

An LPA is a legal document which allows people to appoint someone else (an attorney) to make decisions about their welfare, money or property. They are often used by older people to choose someone they know and trust to make decisions for them were they to lose capacity in the future - but can be made by anyone over the age of 18.

The consultation comes just over a year after the OPG launched a new digital service called ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’. As the service allows attorneys to securely share details of their LPA with organisations online, it means they can quickly take action on their loved one’s behalf.

Nick Goodwin, Public Guardian for England and Wales, said:

More people are taking the vital step to plan for the future by applying for lasting powers of attorney, and we want to make sure that it is as safe and simple as possible to do so.

This consultation puts forward proposals which will allow us to make the service fit for the modern world – one that can be accessed online, and which grants OPG the power to conduct thorough checks to protect against fraud while making it easier for people to raise concerns.

The consultation will look at:

  • How witnessing works, and whether remote witnessing or other safeguards are desirable.
  • How to reduce the chance of an LPA being rejected due to avoidable errors.
  • Whether the OPG’s remit should be expanded to have the legal authority to carry out further checks such as identification verification.
  • How people can object to an LPA and the process itself, as well as when is the right time for an objection to be made.
  • Whether a new urgent service is needed to ensure those who need an LPA granted quickly can get one.
  • How solicitors access the service and the best way to facilitate this.
  • Any substantial changes will require amendments to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 which brought in the current system. 

The consultation runs for the 12 weeks until 13 October.

5. A former First Minister of the British overseas territory of Montserrat has been jailed for 15 years, after he was convicted of sexually exploiting five girls including two 13 year olds.

David Brandt, aged 78, groomed the girls by giving them money, phone credit and used one girl, aged 15, to recruit others to abuse.

A joint investigation by the Royal Montserrat Police and National Crime Agency(NCA)  uncovered evidence that he sent his victims thousands of Eastern Caribbean Dollars to have sex with him and send him indecent images of themselves.

Brandt, who led the Montserrat government between 1997 and 2001, was convicted of six counts of dealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation and one charge of perverting the course of justice, on 30 June 2021.

The jury failed to reach a verdict in respect of a seventh count of dealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation.

He has been sentenced at Montserrat High Court to 15 years in prison.

Brandt’s offences were carried out between September 2013 and June 2018.

He met one girl, aged 15, through his work as a lawyer. He groomed her and used her as a channel to other vulnerable young girls including two 13-year-olds.

He told the 15-year-old he wanted to abuse her and one of the 13-year-olds together and sent her 500 Eastern Caribbean dollars to arrange for him to abuse the younger girl.

Speaking of the 13-year-old, he told the older girl: “If she treat me good, I will treat she very good.”

The disgraced lawyer obtained indecent images of both 13-year-olds, one of whom he first saw when she was 12 and said he wanted “to be with her”.

Brandt was first arrested in September 2015. Officers searched his office and discovered sex toys, sexual enhancement medication, condoms and an unused mobile phone.

After he was charged with sex offences, he made five payments to one 16-year-old girl totalling over 2,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars so she would not talk to investigators.

The case took so long to come to court because Brandt sought to delay the trial by appealing the decisions made by the numerous Judges that have been appointed to deal with the case. 

He also attempted to have the data which was downloaded from his mobile phone excluded as evidence, which led to a significant number of Appeal Court Hearings and Privy Council Appeals on the matter.

NCA investigators built a case against Brandt from extensive phone records and text messages.

He promised to give a mobile phone and money in exchange for sex with a 17-year-old, whom records showed he paid a total of 3,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars.

Phone evidence also suggested he had groomed this girl and the 15-year-old to have sex together while he watched.

He obtained two indecent images from another 16-year-old who introduced him to a girl who Brandt sexually abused between the ages of 15 and 17.

He paid both of these girls 1,900 Eastern Caribbean Dollars so he could abuse them together in his office.

NCA senior investigating officer Anne Farrelly, said: “David Brandt clearly posed a huge risk to children over many years.

“Evidence shows he did everything he could to groom and sexually abuse girls as young as 13 on several occasions.

“He plotted, paid money and relentlessly pursued these vulnerable young girls for his own sick gratification.

“He abused his position as an eminent lawyer and is also guilty of a huge betrayal of trust.”

Tony Cook, Head of Child Sexual Abuse Operations at the NCA, said:

“Our investigation into Brandt’s offending has been both tenacious and painstaking in order to ensure he stood trial for some horrible crimes against local children.

“When he was arrested he made it quite clear to us he thought he would escape prosecution. He did everything in his power to delay and disrupt the criminal justice process, including appealing many of the judicial rulings and attempting to get key evidence excluded.

“He also made the victims give evidence and relive their abuse in court.

“His attempts were thwarted through a determination to seek justice for the victims and he will now serve a long sentence in prison where he no longer poses a risk to children.

“I sincerely hope this case sends a clear message to any other victims of child sexual abuse that they can have complete trust and confidence in the criminal justice process and law enforcement. 

“Victims will always be fully supported, and we are determined to arrest and see prosecuted anyone who commits these atrocious offences, no matter who they are.”


1. Managing faith charities as trustees updated 2021 which includes a section on safeguarding has been update on 28 July 2021 and should be followed by trustees of:

Places of worship such as churches, gurdwaras, mandirs, mosques, synagogues, temples and viharas are normally charities.

This is because they normally have ‘exclusively charitable purposes’ . This means that everything they do is for the public benefit and fits within the legal descriptions of charitable purposes in England and Wales. These include:

  • advancement of religion
  • prevention or relief of poverty
  • advancement of education

Other religious organisations will also be charities if their purposes are ‘exclusively charitable’. These include organisations like religious supplementary schools, religious choirs and missionary organisations.

All trustees of any charity should also read  Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees updated 2019

2. Ann Craft Trust (ACT) and The Marie Collins Foundation have collaborated to produce a resource to help parents and children understand various online risks. The resource is a leaflet called “Sexual Abuse Online – Helping My Autistic Child.” It’s available as an online PDF, but you can also contact ACT or The Marie Collins Foundation to request a hard copy.

Parents and carers worry about online sexual harm, and what they’d do if it happened to their child. When you are caring for an autistic child, it can feel like there are lots of extra things to worry about. How we respond to an autistic child who might have been sexually harmed online can affect their recovery. So it’s important to send the right messages from the start.

The leaflet begins by explaining the sorts of risks children and young people might face online. But the leaflet also lists the various ways being online can benefit autistic children. It can be fun and freeing. Also, as online chat doesn’t involve eye contact, it can give autistic children more space to process interactions.

So rather than advising parents to prevent their children from going online, it instead offers various tips on staying safe. For example, it lists ways you can start essential conversations with autistic children to help them understand risk.

The leaflet also lists some warning signs that might suggest that something’s wrong. For example, the child might appear withdrawn, and unwilling to discuss what they do online. Or you might notice that they have new things – such as clothes, or even electronic devices – that they cannot or will not explain.

Finally, the leaflet offers advice on what to do if you suspect your child’s been harmed online. And crucially, it also contains a list of things you should never do if you think something’s wrong.

The leaflet ends with a list of additional resources, with contact details for organisations who can offer extra help.

The Reason to Remain Vigilant in All Aspects of Safeguarding

1. A former choirmaster and teacher from Portsmouth has been sentenced to 40 years in prison, 30 June 2021, having been found guilty of sexually abusing 12 boys and a girl over a period of three decades.

Mark Burgess, aged 68 and from Hilsea, worked as a teacher at Portsmouth City Boys’ School and ran choirs at St John’s Church in Westbourne and All Saints Church in Commercial Road.

He abused children as young as seven years old, as well as teenagers, between the early 1970s and 2000s.

He spent time building relationships with young people, gaining their trust, making them feel special and good about themselves in order to exploit this apparent friendship by subjecting them to sexual abuse.

Burgess created opportunities to abuse young children at school, in the vestry of churches during piano lessons, on choir trips across the country, in a rented garage, and in his car whilst purporting to provide lifts home.

Andrea Hills, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “Burgess demonstrated a repeated pattern of manipulative behaviour over a substantial period of time.

“He manipulated the young victims to such an extent that they felt either the abuse was part and parcel of being in a choir, or that they owed him for all of the treats, favours and special treatment that he afforded them.

“The CPS were able to able to build a strong case against Burgess using the brave testimonies of the victims to prove that he had been sexually abusing children for a very long time.

“I would like to pay tribute to all of the victims who have come forward to support this complex and lengthy prosecution.

“It is understandable that they will have endured decades of guilt and shame as a result of the horrific abuse that Burgess was responsible for committing, and I hope that today’s sentence will bring a measure of comfort to them.”

2. A man who killed his baby son by throwing him into a river became "lost" to the care system after moving between areas, a serious case review has found.

Zak Bennett-Eko, 23, was sentenced to a hospital order after being found guilty of the manslaughter by diminished responsibility of his son Zakari.

The review found there had been several failings in the care of Bennett-Eko, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. 

Bury Council said it was "truly sorry".

Bennett-Eko, 23, threw 11-month-old Zakari into the River Irwell from a bridge in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, on 11 September 2019.

The Nightingale court in Salford heard Bennett-Eko believed his child was turning into the devil before he threw him to his death.

Jurors were told he had asked to be sectioned at North Manchester General Hospital three days prior to the tragedy.

The serious case review, published by Bury Integrated Safeguarding Partnership, highlighted 13 factors which "produced a pathway of harm" including that Bennett-Eko's "learning disabilities and mental health needs were not met" in the months leading up to the tragedy.

Paul Sharkey, who led the review, said he had "become lost" to the Manchester adult social and health support agencies when he and Zakari's mother, Emma Blood, were relocated to Bury in June 2018 by Manchester Housing Solutions.

The report said that increased the family's "social isolation and increased vulnerability".

He also criticised a "lack of a robust system" for children and family assessments for determining interventions. 

Mr Sharkey said there was a "lack of a multi-agency understanding and appreciation of the inherent vulnerability of infants".

In August 2019, Bennett-Eko was discharged from the Manchester learning disability service due to a lack of attendance.

The report said a "flawed" assessment carried out by Bury Children's Social Care in May 2019 did not take into account the risks of him not taking his medication and reverting to cannabis use.

Bury Council said it was "truly sorry" and accepted "lessons must be learned".

"There were failures in the way public services supported [Zak] manage his mental health problems, which were compounded by his drug use, domestic violence and learning disability," Tony Decrop, assistant director of social care and safeguarding at the authority, said.

"There was also a failure to appreciate fully the risk the father posed to [his son].

"All the agencies involved are determined to do all they can to prevent something like this happening again." 

He said staff had received further training, management oversight of social work had increased and a new model of practice had been introduced for social workers and partner agencies to "strengthen working relationships with families".

Dr Henri Giller, independent chair of the Manchester Safeguarding Partnership, said "significant" lessons had been learnt from the tragic case with procedures put in place "to mitigate against similar shortcomings in the future".

Bernadette Enright, executive director of adult social services for Manchester City Council, said policy had now changed "to support continuity of care" and work in a much more integrated way with health and social care colleagues, in mental health and in learning disability services. 

3. A man from Essex has been jailed for six years for abusing 11 children in Myanmar after he travelled to the country for a guided cycling tour in 2016.

Christopher Behn, 66, a retired engineer, was a subject of interest in a wider National Crime Agency investigation when he was arrested by officers at Gatwick Airport in February 2020.

Investigators seized his laptop and GPS device – a tool for mapping cycling routes - for forensic analysis.

Data from both devices proved that Behn had flown to Myanmar in November 2016 for the cycling tour and, once this had finished, he travelled to the Ngapali Beach area where he stayed for four days.

It was here that he sexually abused 11 boys aged between five and nine-years-old.

Officers found 265 indecent images of the children on Behn’s laptop which he had taken himself.

In some, he had instructed the boys to pose naked or partially clothed. In others, it was clear they were unaware that the photo was being taken.

Images were also located which showed Behn sexually abusing the youngest victim.

Looking at the photos in date order, it was clear to officers that his offending escalated over the four days.

Many of the photos are taken at various spots on the beach where he knew children would congregate at lunchtime.

Behn was charged with eight counts of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, one of sexually assaulting a child under 13, and two counts of taking indecent images of children (categories B and C).

Last month, he pleaded guilty to all charges. He was sentenced today at Chelmsford Crown Court to six years in prison and a further six on extended licence.

He will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Graham Ellis, NCA Operations Manager, said: “Behn is a predator who sexually abused vulnerable children.

“He manipulated them and forced them in front of the camera for his own sick gratification.

“Travelling sex offenders like Behn think that by conducting their abuse in a remote part of the world away from home, they won’t get caught.

“However, borders are not a barrier and the NCA works closely with international partners to ensure Britons committing offences abroad are prosecuted in the UK.”

Giorgina Venturella, CPS Organised Crime Division Specialist Prosecutor, said:  “The crimes that Christopher Behn committed against underage boys in Myanmar were depraved. Behn used his position of power to purposefully seek out vulnerable young local boys with the intention of sexually abusing and exploiting them. 

“These children were deliberately posed and photographed by Behn; and Behn’s behaviour clearly escalated in severity over the course of his stay. 

“Behn’s abuse and exploitation will affect his victims for their whole lives. I urge anyone who has been abused to report it so that justice can be served, whether the offences have been committed in UK or abroad.”

4. The young girl called “Kelsey”, who 55-year-old Vasile Chindea was chatting up sexually, was actually a fake profile set up by a paedophile hunter group called Strike UK, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Sentencing Chindea at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday (July 8), Judge David Pugh said Chindea had engaged in sexual discussions with a decoy posing as a 13-year-old girl and had sent her naked pictures of himself.

He accepted that no real child was involved in the offence and no sexual activity had taken place.

Chindea, 55, of Aureole Walk, Newmarket, admitted attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity between November 20 and December 8 2019.

In addition to being jailed, Chindea was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

Judge Pugh said the issue of deportation would be up to the Home Office.

5. A Bedfordshire man has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of historic sexual abuse. 

Bruce Moir, who is now 46, was living in Bedford and volunteered as a scout leader in the 80s and 90s, when he sexually abused a 13-year-old boy. 

Luton Crown Court heard how Moir had groomed the child by playing golf and video games with him and giving him alcohol. 

The abuse was uncovered when another young victim gave a statement to police in 2017 and an investigation found two further victims, with crimes ranging from 1986 and 1996. 

At a three-day trial in February, Moir was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault, and pleaded guilty to a further three counts of indecent assault against the three young victims.

A further charge will lie on file.

On Thursday, Moir was sentenced to nine years in prison, with an eight year extended licence upon release.

Moir must serve six years before he can be considered for parole, and was also made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), and barred from working with children.

In an impact statement read to the court, one victim explained how he has been badly affected by what happened, burying his feelings for more than 15 years, blaming himself and, how once he made his statement to police, he came to realise he had been groomed. 

He said: 

“I need to keep reminding myself, as a young child I was not to blame. He was the adult, I was taken advantage of and I was groomed. As this chapter hopefully comes to an end, no words or actions can change what happened to me all those years ago, however I now know that my voice has been heard. I now know that for once in my life somebody else knows what happened.”

Detective Constable Claire Long, from Bedfordshire Police’s Public Protection Unit, who investigated the case, said: "Moir deviously acted to befriend an impressionable young boy and win his trust, before betraying that trust in a most abhorrent way.

"I want to thank this man for finding the courage to come forward to tell his story, and to allow us to ensure his voice was finally heard.

"I hope that by seeing Moir paying for his actions now will bring about some form of closure, and assist him on his journey to recovery.

It is never too late to speak up about sexual abuse, no matter when it happened. And this case shows we will do our utmost to see an abuser brought to justice, even years down the line.

Detective Constable Claire Long, Bedfordshire Police

Detective Inspector Martin Eaton said: “We know that it can take years before a victim is ready to speak about their experiences, but when they are ready, we will be waiting.

“I would ask that if you have concerns about child sexual abuse, or you have ever been a victim, please report it, don’t carry this by yourself.

“We have specially trained officers, and a network of partner agencies, willing to listen and to support and guide you through the criminal justice process and beyond.” 

And Finally

Campaigners are warning teens about online grooming and sexual abuse during the school summer holidays as a former top police child protection expert says the problem has “escalated” in recent years. 

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), with support from tech companies including Microsoft, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, is reaching out to teenagers to empower them to stand up to online grooming and child sexual abuse. 

Former Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who recently retired as lead on child protection at the National Police Chiefs' Council, says he “fears another independent inquiry into child sexual abuse material” as the amount of teenage girls falling victim to internet groomers continues to soar, 

This comes as the IWF reports an explosion of reports of child sexual abuse material in the first half of 2021.

New data shows that, between January 1 and June 14 this year, the charity, which finds and removes child sexual abuse material from the internet, has worked to remove 100,616 web pages after IWF analysts confirmed they contained images or videos of children being raped and suffering sexual abuse. 

This compares to 62,234 reports during the same period in 2020, a 62% increase on this time last year. 

In 2020, IWF analysts confirmed a total of 153,350 reports of child sexual abuse material for the entire year. 

Of the reports the IWF has so far confirmed in 2021, 64,278 have been confirmed to contain “self-generated material” where children have been tricked, groomed, or coerced into abusing themselves on camera.

This material is often filmed in the victims’ own bedrooms, and can be of the most severe sexual abuse. This compares to 40,672 reports which the IWF determined to contain self-generated material in the first six months of 2020. 

As a result, the charity, which works to find and remove child sexual abuse material from the internet, is launching a second phase of its Gurls out loud campaign in a bid to help protect teenage girls who may be spending longer online during the school summer holidays.