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Spectator article Against Mandatory Reporting: A Blizzard of Ill-informed Comment

On 22.6.16 the Spectator published an article by Josie Appleton who does not appear to be a regular contributor. She is convener for a pressure group that writes against regulations in everyday life. She also periodically contributes to the Guardian. Clearly Mandatory Reporting seems to be considered a soft target to which, just like any other piece of proposed legislation, Ms Appleton can contribute using her adult logic without appreciating the first two rules of child protection are (i) suspend adult logic (ii) apply significant experience because it is a complex subject. The piece is available here

Uploaded to Spectator website 22.6.16

 

 

There are several points of interest in the article. Firstly that appeared in this Conservative magazine at this time at all. The Government has repeatedly deferred the consultation despite there being little need. We understand it was ready to begin in December 15 and that it might now be launched just before the recess, ideally timed for the ‘silly season.’ Let’s not forget Mr Cameron described child abuse as a ‘national threat.’

Within the article there is a thumb print that suggests Ms  Appleton was briefed by  the Department for  Education media team. The idea that referrals from Mandated reporters are poor, while referrals from elsewhere are reliable is pure DfE fantasy spin.  

 

 

 

The Spectator declined to publish a comment from a reader maybe because it was too long or perhaps because of embedded links to evidence. The post was sent (more…)

June 23rd, 2016|

Mandatory Reporting of Known and Suspected Abuse: Guardian and Observer Articles June 2016

Louise Ticklle 060616

 

 

 

You can read the article here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Observer 280516

Although the positions of the two child protection NGO’s appear to differ in this article their approaches to mandatory reporting are in reality almost identical in that both are keen on the status quo. The NSPCC sidesteps the question on mandatory reporting and talks of sanction predicated on ‘known abuse’ The view of these two organisations seems to be that neither want to be seen to hold a different position to Government.

The NSPCC’s raising ‘known abuse’ hints at its position statement launched in July 2014 which we reviewed it in detail here and concluded  : If the objective is the introduction of sound legislative foundations the proposals from the NSPCC are profoundly flawed. 

In July 2014, to coincide with the NSPCC’s ‘strengthening duties’ policy statement, Peter Wanless said to the Independent newspaper

“However, our focus for criminalisation is on cover-up, not the merest suspicion that a child might have been harmed.

Why does the NSPCC adopt a seemingly discriminatory approach to regulated activity staff being required and supported to report concerns about the safety of a child, but not concerns arising from talking PANTS?

Please read our review of the April 2016 article by Professor Ben Mathews entitled – Impact of new mandatory reporting law on reporting and identification of child sexual abuse: A seven year time trend analysis. The empirical evidence contradicts the NSPCC.

June 8th, 2016|

A Review of: MR law on reporting and identification of CSA: A seven year time trend analysis

Mandate Now review of :

Published April 2016

Published April 2016

Click on image to enhance quality

The Mandate Now position has always been that we follow the evidence. If sound research were to show that mandatory reporting in Regulated Activities (e.g. schools, hospitals etc.) were unhelpful to detecting child sex abuse, then we would stop our campaign for the introduction of such a law.

The government has consistently opposed mandatory reporting, and has cited various academic research papers which it claims support its position. These include: (more…)

June 8th, 2016|

New Research: Impact of Mandatory Reporting Law : A Seven year Longitudinal Analysis

The long delayed consultation on Mandatory Reporting (“MR”), ceded from Government on 28th October 2014 in the House of Lords during the passage of the Serious Crimes Bill, still awaits launch.  But this has borne an advantage with the release earlier this week of important new longitudinal research into the effects of MR from Ben Mathews, LLB, BA, PhD, Associate Professor in the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He is also Director of Research in the School of Law and is co-Leader of the Children’s Rights and Welfare research program in QUT’s Children and Youth Research Centre.

Dr Mathews’ major area of research expertise is in children and the law, with a focus on issues concerning law and child maltreatment, civil damages for child abuse, children and educational systems, medico-legal issues, children’s rights, cultural violence against children, and children’s criminal responsibility. He has conducted large multidisciplinary studies of laws regarding the reporting of child maltreatment and has published extensively in Australia and internationally, with 45 publications. Ben’s research and knowledge translation has led to changes in law, policy and practice. (more…)

May 13th, 2016|

A Lengthening List of Independent Schools Confused over Child Protection – 16/03/16

In 2008 child protection in England and Wales was described in the following terms by the co author of a highly regarded reference book on child protection law in common law jurisdictions:

‘What is the current law?

To start it is important to recognise two problems in the current law relating to child abuse:

It is a patchwork of different types of law often created as a specific reaction to a particular scandal. It has no cohesion and can be contradictory. It is, for want of a better description, the Dangerous Dogs Act writ large.

It is unwieldy. There are hundreds of different rules in different places.’

The co author was expressing opinions shared by others. Here is Sir Roger Singleton on the same subject in 2009 following the publication of his report ‘Keeping Our School Safe‘ which was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Education Ed Balls, just three weeks after the first broadcast of the BAFTA award winning documentary Chosen about institutional child abuse and its long-term effects (more…)

March 16th, 2016|

NSPCC Whistling Home Office Tune to Child Protection Inertia

The Home office has entered a joint enterprise with the NSPCC to create a whistle blowing helpline to aid staff who consider their employer has not handled, or been handling, a child protection concern well or correctly. This was reported by the BBC on 13/2/16 

That there’s a helpline is an admission that whistleblowers aren’t protected and the existing child protection system is fundamentally broken. If it wasn’t broken we wouldn’t need whistleblowers!

Grounding child protection on whistle blowing is a non starter which means functioning child protection in organisations is impossible. Examples include an institution such as BBC and Regulated Activities such as schools, faith groups, healthcare, sport,  and care homes for both young and old. The NSPCC’s abuse prevalence statistics further indicate the failure of whistle blowing over 40 years. It claims only 5% of child abuse is detected in this country, and more recently the Children’s Commissioner claimed it to be 12.5%.  By any standard, these figures do not represent anything of which child protection experts can be proud. (more…)

February 13th, 2016|

Mandate Now: Putting the spotlight on UK child abuse

February 1st, 2016|

BBC Child Protection Policy. Perfectly Legal but Useless

This posting supports a live appearance on Sky News today following the leak of an early draft report by Dame Janet Smith into the activities of Savile at the BBC.

We have reviewed the Corporations current Child Protection Policy. It’s value is extremely limited.  Child Protection at the BBC, as with every institution (and ‘Regulated Activities’) is grounded on ‘discretionary reporting,’ not mandatory reporting.

Here is the BBC’s child protection policy and our review. The areas of particular concern are highlighted in yellow. (more…)

January 21st, 2016|

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse: Malcolm Underhill Speaks to Tom Perry of Mandate Now

January 19th, 2016|

Letters in Support of Bishop Peter Ball Make Extraordinary Reading. Here in Full

In memory of Neil Todd, a complainant against Peter Ball, who committed suicide in 2012.

Yesterday the story broke in the papers about the letters of support for Bishop Peter Ball received by the CPS and police in 1993 when ‘consideration’ was being given to charging him with sexual offences against young men. He wasn’t charged at the time instead receiving a ‘caution,’ but in October 15 2015 he pleaded guilty to crimes involving young adults and was imprisoned for 32 months. The crimes which were pending against children were ‘negotiated out’ of his admission but they remain on file.

On the Today programme this morning this piece:

 

Here is an excellent report from the Guardian for which MN provides the front page of the 01 January 2016 edition. (more…)

January 1st, 2016|