Safeguarding News June 2022

Welcome to SAFEcic's news round up from June 2022.

Child Safety Week was held Monday June 6 to Sunday June 12 2022.

Child Safety Week is an annual community education campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), acting as a catalyst for thousands of safety conversations and activities UK-wide.

They help families build confidence and skills in managing the real risks to children's safety. They want all children to have the freedom to grow and learn, safe from serious harm.

The theme was Safety in mind.

For free safety advice and resources direct to your inbox, sign up below:

It was also Learning Disability Week June 20 to June 26 2022

Source: Mencap published on this site 20 June 2022

  • The theme for the week is ‘Living Life with a Learning Disability’
  • The theme this year is to show how people with a learning disability are reconnecting with friends and their communities. It is also to talk about the issues many people still face after the end of COVID restrictions, like still having to isolate or dealing with poor mental health and anxiety.
  • Follow this link to learn more about Learning Disability Week 2022 from Mencap

Don't forget to check out our latest training schedule (below) and please feel free to share this email with your colleagues and they too can join our newsletter database.

To sign up simply click here.

Free Consultations
We have also extended the availability of our free 30 minutes advice and support consultations until the end of July 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, 17 August 2022

10:30 – 12:00 BST

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

Wed, 21 September 2022

10:30 – 12:00 BST

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

Tue, 27 September 2022

10:30 – 12:00 BST

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

Thu, 15 September 2022

10:00 – 12:00 BST

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 |

Legislation & Bills

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England and Wales


1. New non-fatal strangulation offence has come into force

Non-fatal strangulation was made a specific offence as part of the government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act. The practice typically involves a perpetrator strangling or intentionally affecting their victim’s ability to breathe in an attempt to control or intimidate them.

It followed concerns that perpetrators were avoiding punishment as the act can often leave no visible injury, making it harder to prosecute under existing offences such as Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). Studies have shown that victims are seven times more likely to be murdered by their partner if there had been non-fatal strangulation beforehand.

The new offence will also apply to British nationals abroad. It means perpetrators can be prosecuted in England and Wales for offences committed overseas – ensuring there is no escape for abusers.

It comes as even more victims of rape will be spared the trauma of being cross-examined in court during a live trial, with the extension of special measures schemes. A further 11 Crown Courts across the Midlands and the South West will now be able to provide victims the chance to pre-record their evidence before their case gets to trial, subject to a successful application to the court.

The scheme, which has already been introduced successfully in 26 Crown Courts, allows victims and witnesses of crimes such as rape and modern slavery to have their cross-examination video-recorded and played back later during trial.

The recording takes place as close to the time of the offence as possible, while memories remain fresh, and helps victims avoid the stress of giving evidence in a trial setting, which many find traumatic.

The move follows the successful implementation of a similar scheme for vulnerable victims, such as children or those who have limited mental capacity, to all Crown Courts in England and Wales – with more than 2,500 witnesses having already benefitted from the technology since August 2020.

The measure is designed to maintain a defendant’s right to a fair trial and any decision to pre-record evidence is made by a judge on a case-by case basis.

The value of pre-recorded evidence for victims and survivors of sexual trauma is massive as it offers protection from a real and often damaging re-traumatisation and rerun of past events and unwanted experiences.

It is a huge leap forward in the criminal justice system and a significant mindset change where truly supporting a victim becomes a key component in the whole process and will undoubtedly encourage more victims to report sexual crime in the future.

The announcement builds on recent government action to make our streets safer and increase confidence in the justice system including the publication of a draft Victims Bill. The legislation seeks to amplify victims’ voices, and places greater accountability on agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and police for the service they provide to them.

The reforms come as Ministers continue to drive improvements for victims, in particular those of rape and sexual offences, for which convictions rose 27 percent last year compared to before the pandemic.

In March the government announced that victim support services would receive £440 million in grant funding over the next 3 years, helping to fund more than 1,000 Independent Sexual and Domestic Violence Advisors and a 24/7 rape crisis helpline.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 amends the Serious Crime Act 2015, introducing 2 new non-fatal strangulation and suffocation.

2. Tony's Law: Child abusers face tougher sentences as law changes

Child abusers in England and Wales could now face life in jail as tougher sentencing powers come into force.
The legislation forms part of the Police, Crime and Sentencing and Court Act 2022 and has come into effect two months after receiving royal assent.
The maximum sentence for anyone who causes or allows a child's death has now increased from 14 years to life.
The adoptive mother of Tony Hudgell, seven, who has long campaigned for Tony's Law, said it was "wonderful".
The maximum penalty for causing serious harm to a child has also gone up, from 10 to 14 years.
Paula Hudgell, who lives in Kings Hill in Kent, said: "It feels quite surreal. We knew it was coming but for it to actually be here is absolutely wonderful."
Tony was attacked by his birth parents when he was a baby and left with life-changing injuries.
He suffered multiple fractures, was left deaf in one ear and had to have both his legs amputated.
His abusers were sentenced to 10 years in prison in February 2018 - the maximum sentence possible at the time.

3. Football hate crime: CPS vows to use new banning orders

Source: Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) published on this page Wednesday 29 June 2022
The CPS vows to use football banning orders to those convicted of online hate crime connected to the game and prevent them from attending matches.

The new orders allow the CPS to ask the courts for tougher penalties for so-called fans intent on hateful conduct. The CPS has recently spearheaded a campaign to ensure that football spectators are aware of the consequences of the disgusting behaviour by a minority of fans.
The new legal provisions will allow banning orders to be made for abuse involving racial or other hateful hostility which occurs online. Previously, football banning orders could only apply to in-person offences.

The additional provisions will provide prosecutors with the means to invite the courts to provide tougher sentences for hate crime alongside their asking for a sentence uplift because of the aggravated nature of a hate crime.
The legal guidance further instructs prosecutors to ask the court for banning orders in all instances where they are available, unless a court considers that there are particular circumstances relating to the offence or to the offender which would make it unjust in all the circumstances to do so.

The CPS is currently working with the police, clubs, player bodies and organisations like the Premier League, the English Football League, and the Football Association to explain how these crimes are prosecuted and what information is needed to pass the charging threshold and build strong cases.

The updated CPS legal guidance on football banning orders

Non-Statutory Guidance

1. Rape victims should not delay seeking therapy, says updated CPS guidance

Victims of rape and other crimes should not delay receiving therapy for any reason connected with a police investigation or prosecution, the Crown Prosecution Service has said. The updated pre-trial therapy guidance seeks to alleviate victim concerns that accessing counselling could damage the prosecution case.

Prosecutors and police are advised ‘the health and well-being of the victim should always determine decision making with regards to pre-trial therapy’ and it is for the survivor to decide when to seek help and in what form.
The guidance follows the Attorney General’s guidelines on disclosure - which states material should only be sought when relevant - and necessary data protection laws, to ensure requests for personal information are lawful and within the necessary parameters.

The guidance’s fundamental principles reflect the key changes including:

  • Victims’ right to decide: All victims should be made aware they can access therapy at any time, and it is separate to the criminal justice process, to make sure their psychological and emotional needs are met. The decision on whether, when and what form of therapy is entirely their own.
  • Reasonable lines of enquiry: Police and prosecutors are asked to give very serious consideration as to whether requesting therapy notes represents a reasonable line of enquiry. What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances of the individual case.
  • Compliance with data protection laws: Prosecutors, police and therapists must comply with all relevant data protection laws. Therapists are advised to be transparent with victims from the outset and inform them of their right to object at any point. Any requests for therapy notes must be specific and only sought when necessary. Any unfocused requests to browse patients’ files should be not be made.
  • Disclosure: These notes will only be shared with the defence if they contain material capable of undermining the prosecution case or assisting the suspect.

The new guidance has been developed following extensive consultation with medical experts and victims’ groups. It also contains expert insights into the impact of trauma on a victim’s memory and demeanour to help address concerns about inconsistencies in victims’ accounts during therapy.

The updated guidance delivers a key pledge of the CPS’s five-year RASSO 2025 strategy to reverse the decline in rape prosecutions and drive up the number of strong cases reaching court.

It complements the refreshed RASSO legal guidance, which addresses damaging myths and stereotypes in an age of changing sexual behaviours and provides advice on when it is reasonable to make requests for personal data such as mobile phone downloads following the rapid growth in digital evidence.

2. Domestic violence and victims’ update: Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘DVDS’) guidance publication

The DVDS has been enforced in England and Wales to enable potential victims of domestic violence to receive information about their partners from the police in a shorter timescale which could be crucial to their safety.

The DVDS is most commonly referred to as “Clare’s Law” which was implemented across all police forces in England and Wales in March 2014. Clare’s Law enables members of the public to access information from the police about their partner’s criminal history and therefore identifies whether their partner poses a risk to their wellbeing.
The DVDS new guidance has implemented faster disclosure. Under the new requirements, the police will be required within 28 days to disclose the information. This has been a 7-day faster turnaround period which the previous requirement allowed 35 days. This will mean that victims and potential victims should receive the vital information faster which could be crucial for their safety.

The information which should be disclosed:

  • Convictions for an offence related to domestic violence or abuse, which are not yet considered ‘spent’;
  • Intelligence about previous offending in a domestic setting;
  • History of a serial perpetrator of domestic violence or abuse;
  • Concerning behaviour by the subject towards the potential victim.

The new guidance also sets out the best practice for managing applications that have been received online, including setting out links to specialist domestic abuse services which must be provided and safety measures such as quick escapes which must be in place on online portals to protect applicants.

The government are further “consulting on key changes being introduced into the guidance to ensure that the scheme is being implemented as efficiently and effectively as possible across all forces in order to provide better support and faster protection for victims, ahead of placing the guidance in statute as set out in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This will help ensure a uniform and consistent implementation of the scheme by the police.”

Reports, Reviews, Inquiries, Consultations and Research

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1. Muckamore Abbey Hospital: Bad practices 'allowed to persist'

Tom Kark QC said that was to the detriment of patients who were, without exception, highly vulnerable. He was delivering his opening statement to the inquiry which began public hearings in Belfast on Monday 6 July 2022.
The families of those affected lined up outside the inquiry building holding pictures of their loved ones.

Inside, the inquiry chair, who had a key role in the inquiry into avoidable deaths at Stafford Hospital, said it was the job of those in authority to keep people safe.

"What happened at Muckamore Abbey hospital has been referred to as a scandal and without predetermining any issue it is quite obvious that bad practices were allowed to persist at the hospital to the terrible detriment of a number of patients," Mr Kark said.

"Those patients themselves were all, without exception, highly vulnerable in different ways and so it is understandable that there is considerable public anger at some of what has already been revealed.

"Relatives and carers who entrusted their loved ones to the hospital to be cared for with compassion have discovered that in many cases that's not what was happening.

"Because so many of the patients were either non-verbal or had difficulty communicating they couldn't express what was happening or they were not regarded as credible."

Muckamore Abbey Hospital is also at the centre of the UK's biggest-ever police investigation into the abuse of vulnerable adults. 

Some staff working at the County Antrim hospital are alleged to have carried out physical and mental abuse as well as "wilful neglect" of vulnerable patients.

Detectives have viewed about 300,000 hours of CCTV footage from inside the hospital.
Police have arrested 34 people; so far eight people have been charged, and more than 70 staff have been suspended as a precaution.

Mr Kark told the public inquiry that many of the parents and relatives and carers who had trusted the hospital had been "let down".
He added: "Today is the culmination, in some respects, but in others it's just the start of a massive effort by those closely affected by and involved with Muckamore Abbey Hospital to have an inquiry which will scrutinise what was happening at the hospital, over many decades.
"I regard the patients and their relatives and carers, who have been abused or received poor care, as being at the front and centre of this inquiry.
"Getting to the bottom of what's been happening at Muckamore would be quite impossible without hearing about the experiences of patients, either directly from those patients or from their loved ones."
He said the central purpose of such an inquiry was to find out what happened and how it was allowed to occur.
"The essence of our function is to explore the evidence and to construct sensible recommendations which will ensure that patients are well treated and cared for at Muckamore and at similar institutions in Northern Ireland."
The inquiry was told that clearly some of the families "felt furious and others felt guilty".
"This public inquiry requires cool and calm reflection. I will do whatever I can to ensure this is a safe space for all who give evidence and who attend", Mr Kark said.

Speaking to the BBC after his opening remarks, Mr Kark said the inquiry was important for the wider health service as well as those directly affected.
"I'm very lucky that I've got two experts with me who really understand about the delivery of care to patients of this nature and so I have no doubt at all that we will turn over the stones and we will uncover what has gone wrong here."
He added: "There's absolutely nothing to stop us naming and shaming if we feel that's appropriate and, yes, people will be held to account when we write the final report."

The inquiry also heard how Mr Kark visited the mother of a patient who had been a resident in Muckamore before she died in order to gather evidence.

Philomena Lyons died on 10 February.


2. William Scott Farrell review - Publication of independent overview report by Church of England

The independent lessons learnt review of the recruitment and appointment of William Scott Farrell, who pleaded guilty and was jailed for sexual offences, some of which had children as the victim, has been published. These offences occurred while he was working at two cathedrals, and the review also looks at the handling of concerns raised at a third cathedral

3. Ofsted and CQC launch consultation for new inspection provision framework for children and young people with SEND

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have launched a consultation on proposals for a new joint framework for inspecting provision for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) within a local area. The new inspections will be introduced in early 2023.

Read the draft SEND inspection framework and have your say on proposed changes or visit the children and young people’s version of the consultation

The new framework will focus on the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with SEND.
The proposals broaden the focus of inspection to look not only at whether local area partnerships are identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND, but also to assess the impact on their lives and outcomes.

The new framework will build on and strengthen accountability for local areas by:

  • introducing an ongoing cycle of inspections and 3 distinct inspection outcomes.
  • carrying out engagement meetings in all areas.
  • strengthening Ofsted’s response where there are concerns through monitoring inspections and/or early re-inspections.
  • promoting continuous improvement for all by requesting visible action plans following full inspections

To further support these aims, inspection teams will include inspectors from education, health and care so that there can be a deeper understanding of how effective joint working is in a specific area.

Inspections will also focus on children in alternative provision, the majority of whom have SEND, by evaluating how local authorities commission, use and oversee it.

And there will be a greater push to gather evidence from children and young people with SEND and their families directly, as well as from area leaders, practitioners, and settings, so that inspectors understand what it is like to be a child or young person with SEND in any local area in England.

The consultation, which runs to September 11, is part of a range of engagement activities Ofsted and CQC will be doing with the sector, children and young people, parents, and carers.

4. The Final Report of the Whyte Review has now been published by Sports England and UK Sport into allegations of mistreatment within the sport gymnastics.

The Final Report of the Whyte Review is now published by the Commissioning Organisations and is available to download here. Ms Whyte QC has published a statement which can be found here.

Tim Hollingsworth and Sally Munday Chief executives of Sport England and UK Sport have provided a joint statement on Sport England and UK Sport websites.

5. Safeguarding: How effective is the National Crime Agency at protecting vulnerable people?

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have published their report ‘Safeguarding: How effective is the National Crime Agency at protecting vulnerable people?

The Children Act 2004 places a duty on the National Crime Agency (NCA) to safeguard and protect the wellbeing of children. While the organisation doesn’t have this duty to all adults, it does have responsibility for safeguarding vulnerable adults.

This inspection looked at how the NCA safeguards children and vulnerable people.

  • how well the agency’s policies, structures and processes made sure vulnerable people were correctly identified and protected;
  • how well the NCA’s leadership and culture promoted the safeguarding of vulnerable people;
  • how well the training provided to staff promoted effective safeguarding of vulnerable people;
  • how well the NCA supported national and international organisations that work to keep vulnerable people safe; and
  • how effective the NCA was at bridging the gap between its national activity and local safeguarding processes.

 The report sets out their findings.



Serial fraudster sentenced after forging CV and employment reference (A reminder for those should be undertaking safer recruitment practice.)

A man who was let out of jail on licence in 2020 has been sentenced after lying about his work history and qualifications to get a job at a leading British charity.

Imran Ali, 45, of Ederoyd Mount, Leeds – previously known as Mohammed Aumran – was offered a job as a Building Inspector at the charity in April 2021 after falsely claiming that he held an undergraduate degree from Leeds Building College. He also alleged that he had worked in a similar role at a building consultancy since 2017, and that he had no previous criminal convictions, cautions or warnings against him.

In reality, Ali had been convicted of eight counts of fraud by false representation in October 2019 and sentenced to 30 months in jail, following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). He was released on licence in December 2020.

Ali pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation at City of London Magistrates Court on Thursday 28 April 2022. He was sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for 24 months and 200 hours of community work at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday 20 May 2022. He was also ordered to repay £728 in court costs and surcharges.

T/Detective Sergeant Alan Yau, from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud
Enforcement Department (IFED), said:
“Whilst looking into a separate allegation, we discovered that Ali had been up to his old fraudulent tricks once again. This time, Ali targeted a charity by lying about his education, career history and criminal record to be appointed a role that he would not have otherwise qualified for.

“It was infuriating to see Ali’s name once again when this case landed on my desk. Clearly he did not learn his lesson after his first stint in prison, but hopefully another conviction on his criminal record will hammer home that fraud will not be tolerated.”
IFED officers executed a search warrant at Ali’s residence in April 2021 in connection with a separate investigation. The unit seized his work laptop and mobile phone, alongside a number of other devices.

After reviewing the devices, officers discovered that Ali had secured his job at the charity using a fraudulent CV and a forged employment reference from the building consultancy. The consultancy confirmed that it had not employed anyone under the referee’s name.

Rather than admitting that his devices has been seized by the police, Ali told his line manager at work that he had been robbed at knifepoint by a group of men, who took his bank cards, work laptop and phone, before driving off in his wife’s vehicle.

His manager, believing that the incident had genuinely taken place, ordered Ali a replacement laptop and provided him with a new phone. Meanwhile, Ali gave his manager a crime reference number so that the charity could claim insurance for the ‘stolen’ equipment. It later emerged that this number was fake and that Ali had not reported any crime when his line manager attempted to verify the incident with the local police force.

When interviewed by the unit, Ali answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.

Worthy of Note

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1. Brave victims of paedophile scout leader praised by police for speaking out

Police have praised the victims of a paedophile scout master who spoke out about the abuse they suffered up to 43 years ago.

Detectives said they do not 'underestimate the bravery and courage' of the victims of Andrew Gibson, who used positions of trust as a scoutmaster in Weston-super-Mare and then as a warden on Lundy Island to abuse boys over three decades.

Gibson, now 84, has been jailed for 16 years for abusing five different victims, all aged between 11 and 13 at the time of the offences, which took place from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.

Bristol Crown Court heard that in sexual abuse which started 43 years ago, Gibson molested five boys all aged under 13. He targeted four victims when he was a scout leader and one when he was conservation warden on Lundy island.

The 84-year-old, of Trinity Place in Weston-super-Mare, denied wrongdoing. But a jury convicted him of nine charges of indecent assault and one of buggery.

Judge William Hart handed him a 17-year sentence. That consists of 16 years' jail and a year's extended licence.

The judge told him: "For 40 years a dark secret lay behind your character. You had sexually abused five different boys and they have all carried the burden of that abuse into middle age." The judge commended both the victims as well as DC Kat Collier for her good investigation.

Police received reports of Gibson's predatory sexual behaviour from 2016. Following a trial in March this year he was unanimously convicted of wrongdoing.
Gibson, who was the general secretary of the RSPCA in the region for many years, as well as a scoutmaster in Weston and later a warden on Lundy Island, used his positions of authority and trust to abuse boys, the senior crown prosecutor in the case said.

"Andrew Gibson’s work as a former Scoutmaster gave him access to young children and he exploited this over many years, abusing boys in his care," said Laura Opie. “I would like to commend and thank the victims for their strength in coming forward to support this prosecution and in telling what happened to them.

“The CPS worked closely alongside our partners in the police to build the strongest possible case against Gibson and to ensure he was held responsible for these devastating crimes. I therefore welcome Gibson’s conviction, and the lengthy prison sentence imposed," she added.
Ms Opie said she hoped the case would show victims of historic sex abuse that they will be believed and they should have confidence that the CPS and police will take their cases seriously.

2. DBS has launched its 'Making Recruitment Safer' campaign
Source: DBS published on this site 13 June 2022
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) launched its new ‘Making Recruitment Safer’ campaign which aims to promote the range of support they can offer to employers.

The campaign highlights the free advice and training that DBS can offer to organisations and groups of all sizes, at both a national and regional level.

Training and support covers DBS checks, and the legal duty or power to make a barring referral. If appropriate, it can also include the opportunity to access tailored, DBS training workshops and resources.

To help promote the campaign, DBS is working with key high-profile partners in the charity, faith, and education sectors, including the NSPCC, Strengthening Faith Institutions, the National Youth Agency, and the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years. These partners will promote the support and training available from DBS to organisations and groups in their networks who employ staff and volunteers.

Eric Robinson, CEO of DBS, said:

"DBS performs a vital role in helping to protect children, young people, and vulnerable adults by supporting employers to make safer recruitment decisions. We are pleased to launch our new campaign to highlight the free training and advice we can provide to organisations through our Regional Outreach service.

"This service provides organisations with a single point of contact for all DBS-related queries and questions, as well as the opportunity to access tailored, DBS training for their staff and volunteers. The team also collates feedback to ensure future improvements can be made to DBS services and processes."

The first stage of the campaign focuses on charitable organisations and groups who work with children, and is being endorsed and promoted by the NSPCC and the National Youth Agency.

More information about the free support and advice available to organisations from DBS, can be found in our Regional Outreach service guidance, where a list of Regional Outreach Officers can also be found.


 scamNew warning issued as reports of holiday fraud skyrockets by more than 120%

Action Fraud has launched a national awareness campaign to urge the public to think twice before handing over money and personal information when booking holidays.

As travel restrictions become more relaxed, Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, is warning the public to remain vigilant against holiday fraud when booking flights or accommodation online.

In the financial year 2021/22, Action Fraud received 4,244 reports of holiday and travel related fraud – a substantial increase of over 120% when compared to the previous financial year.

Victims reported losing a total of £7,388,353 – an average loss of £1,868 per victim.

Action Fraud has launched a national awareness campaign today (Monday 23 May 2022) to urge the public to think twice before handing over money and personal information when booking holidays.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:

“As the world begins to open up and travel restrictions relax further, it’s no surprise that more people are eager to get away and kick back with their loved ones after two years of lockdowns and restrictions.  

“Unfortunately, we know that as demand for holidays soar, so does the number of scams and criminals are always finding new ways to catch people out and make them part with their hard earned cash.

“When booking a holiday here or abroad, it’s so important to do your research before handing over any money or personal details. Trust your instincts and remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Graeme Buck ABTA Director of Communications said: 

“Over the years ABTA has seen the damage caused by travel fraudsters when devastated customers find out their holiday or trip to visit friends and family does not actually exist. The cost to them is not just financial; travel-related fraud crime also causes emotional distress and extreme disappointment.

“There is help available and you can protect yourself from these unscrupulous individuals by checking and following the tips and advice on

“However, if are unlucky enough to fall victim, always report the crime to Action Fraud so that they can prevent other people from going through the same awful experience.”

Whilst many accommodation providers who make use of online booking platforms are legitimate, some criminals will use these platforms to defraud victims by advertising counterfeit accommodation.

Over 7% of victims reported falling victim to suspects impersonating legitimate travel companies, including clone comparison websites, airline websites and holiday accommodation websites.

In some cases, victims have searched for flight tickets online and have found a website they believe to be the company’s genuine website. In other cases, victims reported responding to an approach or advertisement on social media or using what they believed to be legitimate flight comparison websites to search for flights.

In both instances, victims reported being contacted by someone purporting to be from the airline, or flight comparison website, to take them through the booking procedure and take payment.

The fraudster may completely end contact after receiving payment or provide the victim with fake booking information.

Sadly, some victims have only become aware that they have been the victim of fraud when they arrive at the airport and are unable to check-in.
Tops tip to avoid falling victim to holiday fraud

  • Stay safe online: check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by slight changes to a domain name – such as going from to .org.
  • Do your research: don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to ensure the company is credible. If a company is defrauding people, there is a good chance that consumers will post details of their experience, and warnings about the company.
  • Look for the logo: check whether the company is an ABTA Member. Look for the ABTA logo on the company's website. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online on their website. If you're booking a flight as part of a package holiday and want more information about ATOL protection, or would like to check whether a company is an ATOL holder, visit the CAA website.
  • Pay safe: wherever possible, pay by credit card. You should avoid paying directly into a private individual’s bank account.
  • Check the paperwork: you should study receipts, invoices and terms and conditions, and be very wary of any companies that don’t provide any at all. When booking through a Holiday Club or Timeshare, get the contract thoroughly vetted by a solicitor before signing up.
  • Use your instincts: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, please visit

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040, or call Police Scotland on 101.


The Reason to Remain Vigilant in All Aspects of Safeguarding


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1. Organised criminal gang jailed for impersonating police officers to defraud victims of over £400,000

An organised criminal gang who pretended to be police officers and preyed on elderly victims in a fraud involving more than £400,000 have been jailed

Muhammed Rahman, 28, Shoriful Islam, 25, Mohammed Hussain, 25, Mohammed Maarjan, 23, were sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court to a total of 21 years imprisonment for courier fraud offences. They had previously pleaded guilty to these offences on 06 August 2021 and 10 November 2021, after Gloucestershire Police and the CPS Specialist Fraud Division brought a strong case to court.

The organised criminal gang ran its operations from various offices in London but targeted different parts of the country in more than 7,500 calls. Once they had a victim engaged, the defendants would claim to be the police and explain they were conducting a fraud investigation into counterfeit currency which had been identified being transferred through the victim’s bank accounts. The defendants would encourage the victims remove money from their bank accounts and hand it over to a “courier” sent by the “police”. The gang used others in the network to provide authenticity checks, pretending to be senior police officers or bank officials. They would arrange for taxis to take the often elderly victims to their banks, in order to withdraw money.

Aware that banks have protocols to follow when dealing with elderly or vulnerable customers who were attempting to withdraw large amounts of cash, the gang emphasised that bank staff or local police may be involved in the counterfeit currency offences and coached the victims about what to say in response to questions. The total value defrauded by the gang was £430,452.

In the UK, in the last year, more than £10 million pounds have been lost to courier frauds of this kind.
It is important to remember that your bank or police will never call you to verify personal banking details. They will also never offer to pick up your money or debit or credit card by courier. If you need to call your bank back to check, only do so after waiting at least five minutes. Even though you have hung up, the fraudsters may stay on the line to pretend to be your bank. If you can, use a different phone line to call your bank. You should never give control of your debit or credit card to a stranger.

Remember to only ever hand a credit or debit card over to a bank official at your bank. If the card is cancelled, you should destroy it yourself.

The CPS works closely with investigators to deliver effective prosecutions against all fraud types, bringing cases to court once there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so.

2. Overfamiliar' Slough sports coach banned from schools

A sports coach who hugged primary school pupils and allowed a girl to put bobbles in his hair has been banned from teaching.

Andrew Watson, 29, was warned three times in seven months by managers at the Marish Academy Trust in Slough, Berkshire, to keep proper professional boundaries, a panel heard.

It concluded his "inability to change" caused it "significant unease".
Mr Watson is unable to reapply to have his registration restored.
The academy trust has been contacted for comment.

Mr Watson started work at the trust in February 2019 as a coach and unqualified teacher at the trust's Marish and Willow primary schools.

Concerns were raised a month later when staff said he "was allowing pupils in his personal space and invading theirs" and that girls "felt comfortable" touching him.

A formal meeting was held about his "overfamiliarity" but further concerns were raised in May 2019. He was given other advice in June and training in August of that year.

A witness said they saw Mr Watson "allow and encourage" a girl to put bobbles in his hair in about June.

In October 2019, another witness said they saw pupils hugging Mr Watson in a playground and that he allowed them to look at his mobile phone.

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) said some of Mr Watson's evidence was "unreliable and contradictory".

He claimed he took his mobile phone out because a child had an epileptic fit and he called an ambulance.

But the TRA said there was "no evidence" to show that happened.

Another member of staff said they walked into an office, also in October 2019, to find Mr Watson in the room alone with girls.

The panel said Mr Watson had shown a "blatant disregard" for the trust's "processes, procedures and guidelines".

A formal investigation into his conduct started in November 2019. He resigned a month later.

3. Care Quality Commission encourages deaf and hard of hearing people to share their experiences of care

CQC’s ‘Because We All Care campaign’, launched in January 2021, aims to help health and social care services identify and address quality issues by encouraging people to share feedback on individual experiences of care.

It is estimated that one in six people are deaf or hard of hearing, this represents approximately 11 million people today and is expected to rise to 15.6 million by 2035. CQC introduced SignLive video service which allows people to connect with CQC to share their feedback using British Sign Language (BSL) as well as text relay.

CQC has previously reported on experiences of care from people with disabilities, that they encountered inequalities in accessing and receiving healthcare; CQC is committed to addressing health inequalities and is working to reduce barriers so people can tell inspectors what is working and what needs to improve.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, said:

“We are committed to addressing health inequalities and reducing barriers to care and we want to see an accessible health and social care system which is consistently effective in communicating with people about their care, that adheres to the Accessible Information Standards (AIS).

“CQC has introduced SignLive as a service for those who use BSL, it connects people who want to contact us with a BSL interpreter who relays information between the person using the service and CQC. We also introduced Text Relay as a method of contacting us as well, alongside our existing communication channels.

“The lived experience of people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and the wider community, is significant in understanding how care for them can be improved. We want to learn from their experiences and drive these improvements and ensure people receive good safe care.

CQC Registration Inspector and Disability Equality Network Chair, Paul Kirby, said:

“There are some 151,000 people in the UK who use BSL and, of these, 87,000 are deaf. Health and social care providers know in order to meet the needs of the people they care for they need to effectively communicate with them. Our relationship with hearing changes through the course of our lives, just as our care needs change as we adapt.

“We’ve had some amazing leaps and advancements in technology which has had a huge impact on people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Being able to better access information, communicate with health and social care professionals, and them with us, is vital to getting appropriate care. It is important that we learn and understand what is working well and what can be improved, to drive care forward.

“The deaf community and BSL users reached a turning point recently with the passing of the BSL Act 2022. Whilst BSL was already recognised as an official language the Act will help communication with the community be more effective, creating better provision of services and gives BSL a footing in the Equality Act 2010. Effective communication is key and CQC wants people who are deaf or hard of hearing to feedback about their care experiences.

Head of Advice & Information at DR UK, Michael Paul, said:

“We have a long and successful relationship with the Care Quality Commission in encouraging disabled people to share their experiences of care services they use. We’re really happy to again work together to reach more disabled people, and ultimately improve care services for disabled people and everyone else.

A review by the deaf health charity SignHealth, concerning accessibility standards in the NHS, found deaf people experienced of a lack of accessible communications which acted as a barrier to getting the care they need in a timely manner.

CQC wants to ensure everyone has the same opportunities to feedback about their care and provide an accessible platform to do so, so that experiences can be understood and used to challenge care providers, learned from and shared to drive improvement. Last year CQC introduced SignLive as a way to remove barriers in feeding back, it enables people to communicate their experiences of healthcare services via video in BSL.

People can give feedback on their experiences of care, or those of someone they care for, on the CQC website or through their local Healthwatch. Local Healthwatch organisations can also help you with advice and information to access the support you need.

And Finally

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Cafcass has launched a new telephone service for children and young people to share feedback on their experience of support during Family Court proceedings

The ‘Hear to Listen’ service will give children the opportunity to share their views about how well Cafcass supported them, how effectively they were listened to and understood what life is like for them. And how that understanding influenced what the Family Court Adviser recommended in their report to the court. Cafcass want to hear whether children understood their thinking, whether they felt able to influence proceedings about them and what Cafcass could have done differently and better. The hope is that children will want to share their honest feedback in the comfortable space that is the ‘Hear to Listen’ phone line.

The phone number for the service is 0330 403 0300.

Cafcass has worked closely with the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) to help develop an accessible and reassuring opportunity to learn from children’s experiences of Cafcass in the Family Court proceedings.

Children can use the telephone line to contact Cafcass, during or after their proceedings to provide feedback. If the proceedings remain live at the point Cafcass is contacted, the call will be directed to their Family Court Adviser who will contact them directly to answer any question and/or to explain what is happening at that time.

The new telephone line does not change the process or opportunity for children to complain which remains as set out on Cafcass website. Cafcass welcome and prioritise children’s complaints. They are contacted within one working day if they complain and Cafcass expect to resolve their difficulties within ten working days.