Keir Starmer is supporting the campaign to introduce mandatory reporting. Mandatory reporting would require those in regulated activities to report all suspected and known child abuse for independent assessment.
Failure to report would be a criminal offence. Currently there is statutory guidance that urges professionals such as teachers, doctors and social workers to report child abuse but failure to do so is not a crime.
Keir Starmer has said that now is the time to plug the gap in the law, going on to say, “There are just too many examples of cases where those who have suspected abuse have not really done anything about it and the perpetrator has either got away with it or, worse still, been able to perpetuate the offending”. It has also been reported that the Catholic Church and Church of England support the introduction of mandatory reporting with Bishop Paul Butler, head of safeguarding at the Church of England, saying, "We have to think of the child first, not ourselves, not the institution, what's best for the child."
At Slater and Gordon our Child Abuse Solicitors have been actively involved in the campaign supporting the introduction of mandatory reporting for some time. We represent many victims of abuse including schools and hospitals and in many cases those in authority had knowledge and failed to pass information on. If there had been a compulsion to report the abuse at the time victims may have been spared their ordeals. The same can be demonstrated in the Savile Scandal.
Child Abuse Lawyer at Slater and Gordon will be appearing on the BBC Panorama “After Savile: No more Secrets?” which discusses the introduction of mandatory reporting which will be shown tonight at 8.30pm.
We hope that something positive can come out of the Savile Scandal and are calling on the Government to introduce mandatory reporting. We owe this reform to the many victims of abuse who have been failed in the past but remain courageous enough to speak out now.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues discussed above please do not hesitate to contact an Abuse Lawyer in our specialist abuse team on 020 7657 1658. All communication will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.