Safeguarding News August 2022 

Welcome to SAFEcic's news round up from August 2022.
At the time of compiling this retrospective look at August 2022, it seems surreal to think we were coming to the end of the second Elizabethan era with the sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and that only a month later, we would have a new King on the throne in Charles III. Truly remarkable times.
SAFEcic is delighted to start working in partnership with Visionary, a charitable membership organisation for local sight loss charities, supported by the charity Thomas Pocklington Trust. Their Vision is for a world in which people living with sight loss can access the services they need at a local level where and when they need them. With a network of over 116 local member organisations and 21 national partners, they connect organisations with each other, develop their skills and organisational health and share information and best practice from across the network. If your organisation works with people living with sight loss, they have a wealth of resources and are always ready to help.

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.

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Free Consultations
We have also extended the availability of our free 30 minutes advice and support consultations until the end of 2022. Seize your opportunity now and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your free appointment.

Services Update
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. 



SAFEcic Blended Learning Training Calendar 

Leading on Child and Adult Safeguarding

Safeguarding Training, Leading on Child and Adult. Online course plus Zoom

Wed, 9 November 2022

10:30 – 12:00 GMT

Safeguarding Training, Leading on Child and Adult. Online course plus Zoom

Tue, 13 December 2022

10:30 – 12:00 GMT

Standard Child and Adult Safeguarding

Safeguarding Training, Standard Child and Adult. Online Course plus Zoom

Wed, 23 November 2022

10:30 – 12:00 GMT

Safeguarding: Trustees’ legal responsibilities

Safeguarding: Trustees' legal responsibilities. Online Course plus Zoom

Tue, 04 October 2022

10:00 – 11:30 BST

Safeguarding: Trustees' legal responsibilities. Online Course plus Zoom

Thu, 8 December 2022

10:00 – 11:30 GMT

Safer Recruitment

Safer Recruitment Training. Online course plus 2 Hr Live Online training

Tue, 29 November 2022

10:00 – 12:00 GMT

SAFE Free Resource Hubs

SAFEcic's free hub resources by setting have been relocated to their new home and are now available through the main menu. Alternately you can bookmark the links below:

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


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England and Wales

Implementation of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022
The Act will raise the age of marriage and civil partnership to 18 in England and Wales to protect children from the scourge of forced marriage. This means that 16 to 17-year-olds will no longer be able to marry or enter a civil partnership under any circumstances, including with parental or judicial consent from 26 February 2023. It will not be possible for anyone under 18 to marry or enter a civil partnership after this date.

Currently forced marriage is only an offence if the person uses a type of coercion, for example threats, to cause someone to marry, or if the person lacks capacity to consent to marry under the Mental Capacity Act. The Act will therefore also expand the criminal offence of forced marriage in England and Wales to make it an offence in all circumstances to do anything intended to cause a child to marry before they turn 18. It will therefore now be an offence to cause a child under the age of 18 to enter a marriage in any circumstances, without the need to prove that a form of coercion was used. The forced marriage offence will continue to include ceremonies of marriage which are not legally binding, for example in community or traditional settings.

CPS Legal Guidance

CPS sets out the law on street-based sexual harassment
Street harassment such as cyber-flashing, up-skirting or the exposure of genitals in a public place are crimes which can and will be prosecuted the CPS has stressed, as new legal guidance is published today.
The prosecution guidance on public order offences has been updated to include for the first time a specific chapter on charges relating to public sexual abuse. It follows a stark report published last year from the All-Party Parliament Group (APPG) for UN.
In a move to encourage more victims to come forward – and to make sure prosecutions are carried out consistently – the new chapter clarifies the law around potential offences and evidence prosecutors will need. Specific offences include:

  • Exposure: A person commits an offence if they intentionally expose their genitals and intend the person seeing them would experience alarm or distress.
  • Up-skirting: Up-skirting is taking a photograph or video under someone’s clothing without their consent and the perpetrator not reasonably believing consent had been given. It is done with the intention to humiliate, alarm or distress the victim or gain sexual gratification.
  • ‘Cyberflashing’: Categorised as a communications offence, ‘cyberflashing’ involves perpetrators sending unwanted sexual images to strangers in public places, via data sharing services such as Bluetooth or Airdrop.
  • Section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986: This involves the intention to cause harassment, alarm, or distress by words or behaviour. The effect on the victim is an essential element, with prosecutors required to prove someone actually suffered harassment, alarm or distress and the defendant acted intentionally.

Reports, Reviews and Inquiries

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1. IICSA Inquiry announces publication date of final Report 20 October 2022
The Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will publish its final Report on Thursday 20 October 2022.
It follows:

  • 325 days of public hearings with 725 witnesses
  • 2,457,543 pages of evidence being processed
  • The publication of the Interim report, 19 investigation reports, 24 research reports, eight engagement reports
  • Eight seminars
  • Over 6,000 experiences shared with the Truth Project
  • 87 recommendations for change made

2. Child sexual abuse inquiry has launched its landmark Legacy Project in Westminster

Victoria Embankment Gardens is the setting for a bench inscribed with the uplifting words from a victim and survivor who took part in the Inquiry’s Truth Project. It is one of up to 200 benches and plaques set to be placed across England and Wales, with each message chosen to prompt reflection or to spark conversation. Throughout England and Wales, benches and plaques will form part of a long-standing, easily accessible legacy located in gardens, parks, towns and other public spaces. While every bench or plaque stands alone, the Inquiry’s Legacy Project creates a communal space for reflection on shared experiences, helping all victims and survivors, however far apart, to never feel alone.

The Inquiry has also launched a new legacy Instagram page, enabling users to follow the development of the project, share their own photos of plaques and benches and provide a digital space for anyone who wishes to be involved. Benches will also feature a QR code linking to the Legacy web page. This will feature an online bench locator, enabling viewers to easily find the closest plaque or bench to them, as well as clear signposting for help and support services.
If you’d like to be involved in the Legacy Project, you can find out more by visiting the above links or by following on Facebook and Twitter.



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1. New consultation on proposed updates to child cruelty guidelines: causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm and cruelty to a child

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 has raised the maximum penalties for two offences: causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm, and cruelty to a child. The Sentencing Council issued guidelines for these offences in 2018 which came into force on 1 January 2019, and the Council believes that the guidelines should be revised to reflect the recent changes in maximum penalties.

The Council is proposing changes to the existing guidelines by introducing a new category of ‘very high culpability’ to cover the most serious cases of child cruelty including death, serious harm or neglect, reflecting the higher maximum. The Council would like to hear from anyone who uses sentencing guidelines in their work or who has an interest in sentencing. They would also like to hear from individuals and organisations representing anyone who could be affected by the proposals including:

  • victims and their families;
  • defendants and their families;
  • those under probation supervision or youth offending teams/supervision;
  • those with protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Through this consultation process, the Council is seeking views on:

  • the proposal for a new culpability level of ‘very high culpability’; and
  • the proposed revised sentencing levels for that new level of culpability

You can give your views by answering questions on just the areas that you are interested in or all of the questions in the consultation, either by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by using the online questionnaire.

The consultation runs until 27 October 2022.

Related documents

Research, Statistics and Resources

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1. Forced Marriage Unit statistics 2021

Key points and overview of report

In 2021, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) gave advice and support in 337 cases related to a possible forced marriage and/or possible female genital mutilation (FGM). It also responded to 868 general enquiries.

A case in which advice and support is given (‘advice and support cases’) is one where the FMU is provided with details of a specific individual at risk of, or affected by, forced marriage (or FGM), and actively provides advice and support for as long as required.

A general enquiry is one where the FMU may be asked to provide general advice and/or signposting to other sources of guidance or information. FMU began to record these in 2018, separate to the advice and support cases which comprised the annual published statistics.

In preparing the 2020 statistics, FMU made some changes to recording practices. In doing so, some contacts that might previously have been included as a case of ‘potential or actual forced marriage’ but which did not relate to a specific individual where advice and support was requested of the FMU, were more appropriately categorised as a ‘general enquiry’. As set out in the 2020 statistics, this had some impact on the reduction in the number of advice and support cases compared with the previous year, although FMU’s assessment is that the effects of the pandemic likely constituted the main factor.

The change in recording practices was in place throughout 2021. As such, some of the cases which would previously have been recorded as advice and support cases have now been recorded as general enquiries (and therefore feature in the figure of 868 rather than 337). This is likely to be the principal factor in the fall in the number of advice and support cases from 759 in 2020 to 337 in 2021, and the increase in the number of general enquiries received from around 400 in 2020 to 868 in 2021. The effects of the pandemic also persisted during 2021 (for example, restrictions on weddings and overseas travel). As shown above, the total number of cases (advice and support cases, and general enquiries) in 2021 was similar to that in 2020.

The 337 advice and support cases comprised 316 cases solely related to forced marriage, three cases related to both forced marriage and FGM, and 18 cases solely related to FGM. This figure includes contact that was made to the FMU through the public helpline or by email in relation to a new case. The figures in the rest of this document refer to the 337 cases.

Of the cases that the FMU provided advice or support to in 2021:

  • 118 cases (35%) involved victims below 18 years of age
  • 120 cases (36%) involved victims aged 18-25
  • 53 cases (16%) involved victims with mental capacity concerns
  • 251 cases (74%) involved female victims, and 86 cases (26%) involved male victims

The FMU remained fully operational throughout the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic and took steps to ensure that this was publicised extensively. FMU caseworkers have been more regularly invited to attend multi-agency strategy meetings following the widespread move to virtual working in several professional sectors.

In 2021, the FMU further increased its outreach activities and delivered training to over 1,000 UK professionals in how to support victims of forced marriage. This was more than double the number of professionals who attended our training in 2020. Our outreach included the continuation of bespoke, half-day training workshops for social care staff and police officers. We also delivered ad hoc training on request to groups including: police officers, social services, health professionals, local authorities, Border Force staff and community groups. In 2021, 9,964 people from a wide range of professions took the FMU’s “Awareness of Forced Marriage” free online course.

Forced marriage is not a problem specific to one country, religion or culture. In recent years, the FMU has handled cases relating to countries across six continents.

In 2021, the FMU handled cases relating to 32 ‘focus countries’, excluding the UK. The ‘focus country’ is the country to which the forced marriage risk relates. This could be the country where the forced marriage (or FGM) is due to take place, the country where it has taken place, and/or the country that the spouse is currently residing in. The ‘focus countries’ (other than the UK) with the highest number of cases in 2021 were:

  • Pakistan 159 cases (47%)
  • Bangladesh 32 cases (9%)
  • Somalia 10 cases (3%)
  • Kenya 8 cases (2%)
  • Iraq 7 cases (2%)
  • Romania 7 cases (2%)

The majority (72%) of victims were in the UK at the time the case was referred to us.

In 2021, 11 cases (3%) had no overseas element, with the potential or actual forced marriage taking place entirely within the UK. This continues to highlight that forced marriages can and do take place in the UK.

This document is accompanied by a data sheet which contains the figures quoted in this report. Categories containing data relating to fewer than five cases have been recorded as “<5” to preserve the anonymity of victims.

These statistics represent only the cases that have been reported to the FMU and where the FMU has actively given advice or support. Forced marriage is a hidden crime, and these figures will not reflect the full scale of the abuse.

The FMU operates a helpline from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (+44 (0) 20 7008 0151). Outside of these hours, consular assistance can be requested 24/7 by contacting the nearest overseas British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate, or by calling 020 7008 5000 in the UK. The FMU typically receives information about a forced marriage from either the person at risk, from a friend or a relative, or from professionals within agencies charged with responsibility for safeguarding children and adults with care and support needs.

This publication provides information on the number of cases reported to the FMU via its public helpline and email inbox from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 where advice and support has been provided. The FMU logs all relevant calls and emails received to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the records. The main categories of data that are captured by the FMU include (if volunteered, as some callers may wish to remain anonymous):

  • details of the caller/source of information
  • focus country
  • UK region where the victim/potential victim lives
  • sex, age, location and nationality of the person at risk
  • disability – be it physical, learning or both, and/or any condition that may affect mental capacity
  • sexual orientation (only if volunteered)

2. Female genital mutilation: resource pack update August 1 2022

Female genital mutilation (FGM) guidance, case studies and support materials for local authorities, professional services and specialist voluntary organisations.

FGM is illegal in the UK. Anyone who commits FGM faces up to 14 years in prison, a fine, or both. Anyone found guilty of failing to protect a girl from risk of FGM faces up to 7 years in prison, a fine, or both.

This resource pack includes:

  • information on legislation and prevalence
  • resources and good practice case studies for local authorities, the police, healthcare professionals and schools
  • links to support organisations, clinics and helplines which can help people who think they might be at risk

Recognising and preventing FGM training is available for professionals with safeguarding responsibilities.

3. “We deserve better” – young people’s views on public sexual harassment

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, released her latest blog this month. The website is a very useful insightful resource for anyone working with children, young people and their families

Worthy of Note

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1. Action Fraud partners with SignVideo to make fraud reporting service accessible for British Sign Language users

Source: Action Fraud published on this site Wednesday 31 August 2022 Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, has partnered with SignVideo to assist those who are deaf or hard of hearing and use British Sign Language to report fraud.

Those who use British Sign Language can now contact Action Fraud via their mobile device using the SignVideo app. They will be connected to an interpreter from SignVideo, who will relay the conversation to a staff member at Action Fraud’s contact centre.

2. Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches national mission to tackle dementia and doubles research funding to £160 million a year by 2024.

On August 14 2022 the Prime Minister launched a new national mission to tackle dementia and doubled research funding in memory of the late Dame Barbara Windsor.

Dame Barbara’s husband, Scott Mitchell, met with the Prime Minister earlier this week at Downing Street. They discussed the significant suffering caused by dementia and the slow process of finding treatments and cures.

In response, the Prime Minister has launched the ‘Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission,’ in honour of Dame Barbara and the millions of other people and their loved ones who have had their lives ruined by dementia.

An additional £95 million in ringfenced funding will support the national mission, boosting the number of clinical trials and innovative research projects. This will help meet the manifesto commitment to double dementia research funding by 2024, reaching a total of £160 million a year.

The mission will be driven by a new taskforce, bringing together industry, the NHS, academia and families living with dementia. By speeding up the clinical trial process, more hypotheses and potential treatments can be tested for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

One million people are predicted to be living with dementia by 2025, and 1.6 million by 2040. Up to 40% of dementia cases are potentially preventable but causes are still poorly understood. Dementia can affect the brain years before people show any symptoms, which means treatments need to be tested on people far earlier.

More clinical trials are needed but these are often overly time consuming, with resources wasted on trying to find volunteers.

The Prime Minister has today issued a call for volunteers with or without a family history of dementia to come forward and sign up for clinical trials for preventative therapies, nicknamed “Babs’ Army.’

Volunteers can register their interest through the Join Dementia Research website. The new taskforce, combined with the extra funding, will work to reduce the cost of trials while speeding up delivery. Existing NIHR infrastructure will be used, building on new ways of working pioneered during covid vaccination clinical trials.



1. Regulator opens inquiry into legal charity over concerns about the continued involvement of a disqualified trustee

JAFLAS provides free legal advice to those experiencing financial hardship.

The Commission’s engagement began when a former trustee of the charity, Dr Alan Blacker, was automatically disqualified from acting as a trustee or a senior manager. However, as of July 2022, Dr Blacker was still listed as a director of the charity and as being a person of significant control on Companies House records (the charity is a charitable company and is therefore also registered with Companies House).

The inquiry will examine the administration, governance and management of the Charity and in particular:

  • whether a disqualified individual has continued to play a role in the charity – acting whilst disqualified has both criminal and civil consequences
  • the trustees’ response to the automatic disqualification of a trustee and their decision-making regarding that individual’s continued involvement in the charity
  • whether the charity’s objects are being met and the charity is operating for the public benefit
  • the trustees’ compliance with their legal obligations for the content, preparation and submission of the charity’s accounts, and other information and or returns.

The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional issues emerge.

2. The Charity Commission has clarified respective responsibilities in preventing and responding to incidents of bullying and harassment in charities.

This follows a working group co-chaired by the regulator involving a range of charity sector and other representatives. Addressing bullying and harassment, which should never be accepted in the charity sector, benefits from collective recognition of the contributions required from individual charities, wider sector leadership, the regulator, government, and other experts. The group focused on the discussion and clarification of those respective roles and responsibilities and exploring ways those involved can take action to address bullying and harassment.

The role of trustees

Trustees must recognise that there is simply no place for bullying and harassment within, or by, charities. Trustees have a central role to play to ensure their charity has clear policies, and that allegations are handled appropriately and in line with employment and other laws. Those concerned about bullying or harassment are encouraged to take their concerns directly to the charity or its trustees whenever this is appropriate, and trustees are responsible for ensuring they have processes in place to hear those concerns and address the matter.

The Commission’s safeguarding guidance sets out that charities with employees should have welfare, discipline and whistleblowing policies for staff, including clear policies and procedures on bullying and harassment.

Under the Commission’s serious incident reporting arrangements, charities should report the most serious actual or alleged incidents of bullying or harassment promptly for the regulator to assess. Workers and volunteers can also make reports to the Commission.

Intervention by the Commission

As a risk-based regulator focused on charity governance, the Commission prioritises involvement to address the highest risk of harm, for example where there are concerns that trustees have not addressed reported bullying or harassment that is widespread and systemic within a charity, or there are concerns about governance issues or potential mismanagement.

The Commission has a range of possible responses to such cases, from providing regulatory advice to trustees to the opening of a statutory inquiry. Its focus is on the proper governance of the charity, and it seeks to ensure that the charity’s trustees are responding to the incidents appropriately, including taking necessary steps to prevent further wrongdoing and harm.

It is not the Commission’s role to resolve individual employment issues. Employment matters should generally be raised with the charity through their grievance procedures, followed by action in the employment tribunals if necessary. Investigating alleged criminal offences is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies and reports relating to any threat to an individual’s safety should be shared with the police in the first instance, before notifying the Commission in due course – as the Commission is not a prosecuting authority.

The working group is continuing to meet and exploring further strands of work relating to charity leadership, what constitutes or contributes to bullying behaviour, as well as increasing visibility of existing resources.



1. IOPC recommendations to Metropolitan Police over strip searches of children

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has issued recommendations to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) over safeguarding issues highlighted by referrals concerning the strip searching of children.

Eight new referrals concerning strip searches of this nature were received from the MPS in June after further inquiries were and a further three were made last month. It has been decided to independently investigate two of them.

IOPC have recommended the MPS should take immediate steps to ensure that any strip searches of children are being carried out in line with relevant legislation, national guidance and local policy.

The steps being recommended to the MPS are designed to ensure:

  • the best interests and safeguarding needs of the child are a primary consideration when deciding whether to conduct a strip search
  • the strip search of a child is conducted in the presence of an appropriate adult. Such searches should only be conducted without an appropriate adult in limited circumstances where a valid exception exists
  • the strip search of a child is conducted in such a way which, as far as possible, maintains their dignity and takes into account their health, hygiene and welfare needs.

2. MHRA and CAP act against illegal ‘hayfever jab’ adverts online

Following several high-profile rulings by the Advertising Standards Authority, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) have issued a joint enforcement notice about the advertising of Kenalog injections on social media.

This enforcement notice warns all organisations offering Kenalog as a hayfever treatment to stop advertising it in any of their social media or website advertising.

Kenalog is a prescription-only medicine (POM), which must not be directly or indirectly advertised to the public. Kenalog is not licensed for the treatment of hayfever in the UK, although it is offered by some beauty and aesthetics clinics, under the personal responsibility of an individual prescriber, and advertised widely on social media.

Now, advertisers must ensure that all references to Kenalog in the text, images or emojis on social media are removed, as well as commonly-used descriptive phrases for the jab such as ‘hayfever injection’ or hayfever jab’ or any account names, testimonials or memes by 29 August 2022. After this date, the CAP’s compliance team will remove non-compliant ads using targeted software and those who continue to promote it may be referred to the MHRA for further enforcement action.

Kenalog is the brand name for triamcinolone acetonide and is a steroid injection that is licensed as a medicine for a number of conditions, though not for the treatment of hayfever.



1. IWF new data shows 20,000 reports of coerced ‘self-generated’ sexual abuse imagery seen in first half of 2022 show 7- to 10-year-olds

New data released by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) shows almost 20,000 webpages of child sexual abuse imagery in the first half of 2022 included ‘self-generated’ content of 7- to 10-year-old children

This is nearly 8,000 more instances than the same period last year. And when compared to the first half of 2020, when the UK entered its first Covid lockdown, there’s been a 360% increase in this type of imagery of 7- to 10-year-olds.

UK-based IWF is Europe’s largest hotline dedicated to finding and removing images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet. It is the only European hotline with the legal powers to proactively search for this kind of content.

It’s calling the rapid growth of this material, showing primary-aged children, a social and digital emergency, which needs focussed and sustained efforts from the Government, the tech industry, law enforcement, education and third sectors to combat it.

While the fastest increases are among the 7-10 age group, the 11-13 age group still represents the biggest amount of ‘self-generated’ imagery. A 137% increase was also seen in this subset (self-generated) of sexual abuse content specifically showing boys aged between 7-13 years old.
‘Self-generated’ child sexual abuse imagery is created using webcams or smartphones and then shared online via a growing numb sharing a sexual image or video of themselves.

IWF finds vast amounts of ‘self-generated’ child sexual abuse material being distributed through forums online and the criminal images displayed on these forums are being pulled from image host sites. When the IWF takes action to get this imagery removed, they ensure they take action on the forums, as well as making sure each image is removed.

The top five sites used to store and distribute self-generated child sexual abuse imagery of 7- to 10-year-olds in the first half of 2022 were new. This means the IWF had not seen them used for this subset (self-generated content of 7- to 10-year-olds) of child sexual abuse material before.

2. A man from West Sussex who targeted girls as young as 12 online and blackmailed them into becoming his ‘sex slaves’ has pleaded guilty following a National Crime Agency investigation.

Jordan Croft, 26, admitted 65 offences relating to 26 victims aged 12-22, who he forced to send photos and videos of them performing sexual and other degrading acts on themselves and others.

Croft sought out young girls on online chat platforms with the aim of dominating and controlling them. NCA investigators found that he had been in contact with over 5,000 people on one platform alone.
After getting them to send him a nude ‘custom pic’ of his choosing, he used this to make demands for increasingly depraved and graphic content. He set a list of rules they had to adhere to, which included moving their conversation to encrypted platform Telegram and sending any photos or videos he asked for.

Many were forced to film themselves verbally confirming that they were entering into his “contract of sexual slavery”. If the girls did not comply or asked to be released from the contract, he would set punishments and threaten to expose them to their family or social media followers.

NCA officers arrested Croft in September 2019, after identifying him as the man behind various usernames which featured in reports of online abuse filed by a number of police forces in England. This offending dated back to April 2018. Numerous devices, including Croft’s two mobile phones and a USB stick, were seized for analysis, which led to the NCA uncovering the full extent of his offending, including a further 19 victims. Both phones had an encrypted side to them, which was where the messaging applications were stored. Here, Croft had saved the abuse material his victims sent him, tagged with their names and ages, along with a list of their social media followers.
Further indecent images of children (IIOC) were found on the USB stick which also contained a portable operating system. When plugged in to a computer, the system would ensure nothing was written to the computer’s hard disk and all trace of activity was deleted. Investigators linked him to 20 online profiles across four different messaging platforms.

Chat logs showed that Croft initially pretended to be a teenage boy in order to befriend his victims, but once content they were going to follow his rules, he revealed his true age and admitted to being a “catfish” and a “pedo [sic] into girls 12-14”. He also told many of them he had a degree in cyber security and had masked his online identity so he could not be traced by law enforcement.

Croft’s offending included forcing his victims to sexually abuse themselves and other children on demand, as well as film themselves urinating and defecating. The images and videos usually had to be sent within a very short timeframe.nHe also exerted his control by making them ask for permission to go to the toilet and let him know when they were going to be busy, so he didn’t think they were ignoring him.

Croft was charged in June 2022 following authorisation by the Crown Prosecution Service and remained on bail with conditions. The charges include multiple counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, blackmail, making unwarranted demands for IIOC, intentionally causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child, and making over 900 IIOC in categories A-C.





Man jailed for attempting to deceive woman in romance fraud scam

Sebastian Timmis was jailed on Monday 1 August after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation for a romance fraud he attempted.

On 1 May this year, the 30-year-old began communicating with a woman via a dating site. Within a 24-hour period he told her he was looking for someone to fall in love with and that she did not need to keep her dating profile anymore now they had found each other. He then quickly afterwards asked her to transfer him £50 for petrol, telling her his wallet had been stolen. When challenged he claimed his friends couldn’t help him, his family were abroad and he was unable to get to work without her financial help. Suspicious of what she was being told, the victim chose not to transfer him any money. She did an internet search and found media stories showing Timmis had previously been sentenced for multiple romance fraud offences. He was also recalled to prison to serve the remainder of a previous sentence he received last year for similar offences and therefore will not be eligible for release until January 2024.

The Reason to Remain Vigilant in All Aspects of Safeguarding


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Twenty years ago, on the 4 August a community was ripped apart when Soham murderer Ian Huntley brutally killed schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

The hunt for their killer and clues that helped identify Huntley as the killer revolutionised policing with the introduction of a national police database. How did it happen? Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, both 10, were killed by Huntley after they went missing following a BBQ in Soham, Cambridgeshire, on 4 August 2002. Police officers and members of the local community searched tirelessly to find the girls.

One of the key recommendations of the Bichard Inquiry that followed the double murder was a Police National Database to ensure convicts and suspects could not hide across county borders.

It was launched in 2011 to combine intelligences from 43 forces in England and Wales, and data from 150 computer systems.

The information held includes convicted criminals, suspects and victims of crime, as well as the details of people who have been questioned by police but not charged.

The creation of the database was described by the parents of Holly and Jessica as a "defining moment" to mark the passing of their daughters.

Sharon and Les Chapman, Jessica's parents, said: "We hope [the database's] use will mean other families don't suffer the same loss and heartbreak as we did."

The case also led to the strengthening of legislation to protect children, including compulsory criminal background checks on people who apply to work with them.

And Finally

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Safer Streets Fund continues to make streets safer

£50 million has been awarded through the Safer Street Fund to tackle violence against women and girls and make streets safer. The money will go to police forces, local authorities, British Transport Police and eligible community groups across England and Wales to prevent violence against women and girls in public, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour. These projects will be able to roll out extra CCTV and streetlighting in their communities and expand work to change attitudes and behaviours and prevent these crimes happening in the first place.

Northamptonshire, Humberside and Nottinghamshire PCCs are just some of the organisations which have already received funding through previous rounds. The money has been spent on home security, community outreach and initiatives such as football and boxing, to divert young people from crime. This is the fourth round of funding from the Safer Street Fund and takes the total awarded through this fund and the Safety of Women at Night Fund to £125 million.