Legal reporting requirement on child sexual abuse is needed, says Braverman

The government is expected to lay out the details of the plans in the coming days to tackle grooming gangs and better protect children.

It comes after the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse last year described child sexual abuse as an “epidemic leaving tens of thousands of victims in its poisonous wake”.

The seven-year inquiry into institutional failures in England and Wales concluded that people in positions of trust should be required by law to report child sexual abuse.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to lay out new measures to tackle recruitment gangs on Monday, but ahead of the announcement, Suella Braverman indicated there was an urgent need for legal reform.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Ms Braverman said the inquiry “recommended that the Government should introduce a mandatory duty for professionals with protection responsibilities to report any signs or suspicions of such abuse.”

“Had this duty already been in place, countless children would have been better protected against recruitment gangs and sexual abusers in general.

“That is why I have committed to introducing mandatory reporting across England.”

Mandatory reporting is a legal requirement to report knowledge or suspicion of a crime.

Writing in the document, Ms Braverman said: “Our protection professionals, such as teachers and social workers, are valuable public servants who play a vital role in protecting and caring for future generations.

“I know that the vast majority of them, along with the public, see it as their duty and their colleagues to report any indication of sexual abuse of a child.”

But she says the duty must be reinforced in legislation to “ensure that those who fail to do so face the full force of the law.”

“Some crimes, if left unpunished, create such a burning sense of injustice among the public that they scorch the fabric of our social contract.

“When the most vulnerable people cannot count on the protection of those charged with safeguarding them, cannot trust the police to defend them, and cannot trust the courts to bring them justice, then the legitimacy of our democratic institutions is called into question. .

“Grooming gangs and child sexual abuse are examples of that phenomenon.”

Ms Braverman will tour the broadcast studios later on Sunday, where she is likely to reveal more details of the government’s plans.

But the Home Secretary is also expected to be questioned about plans, announced earlier this week, to house asylum seekers on disused military bases.

The move sparked controversy and criticism from campaigners, with some Conservative MPs also voicing opposition.

Ms Braverman could also face questions about whether the ferries and barges will also be used to house asylum seekers, as well as a Sun report on Sunday that ministers are close to signing a contract with the Portland Port Authority. on “floating accommodation for asylum seekers”.

Suggestions of such a plan have already sparked opposition, with Tory-led Dorset Council citing “serious concerns”.


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