Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Child sexual abuse - Government announcements

The news media is full of plans being discussed by the Prime Minister to make it a criminal offence for teachers, social workers, local authority officials and councillors to 'wilfully neglect' suspicions of child abuse.

Any one in such  position that does 'wilfully neglect' such suspicions will face the risk of being imprisoned for up to 5 years.

However you look at this issue it must be right that everyone involved in keeping our children safe knows that this is both a legal and a moral duty - and it is a duty that, if breached, brings with it personal consequences such the risk of imprisonment.

Now I do hope when the Prime Minister makes his announcements later on today that he expands the list of people who may be subject to criminal sanctions to include civil servants, MPs and Ministers, police, doctors and nurses etc.

I would have thought that if the scandals recently unearthed have taught us anything it is that everyone involved in looking after our children should be under the same duty to report their suspicions.  So if the media reports are true - Mr Prime Minister - make sure your plans are broad and all encompassing.  Protecting our children goes beyond local government.