September 28th, 2016

Abusers will fall through net warning

Updated: 4:51 pm, May 07, 2015

CHILD abuse campaigners claim plans to make covering up abuse a criminal offence don’t go far enough.

Daniel’s Law supporters said some abusers would not get caught because the proposals – made by the NSPCC – failed to cover certain institutions including schools.

It comes as 170,000 people signed a petition sparked by the death of Coventry four-year-old Daniel Pelka.

The Holbrooks schoolboy – who would have turned seven on Tuesday – was killed by his mother and step-father in March 2012 after agencies failed to spot the abuse he was suffering.

Daniel’s Law calls on mandatory reporting in all settings in a bid to give professionals – such as teachers – the confidence to report concerns.

Campaign head Paula Barrow said she would write to Prime Minister David Cameron outlining public support for new legislation.

Last week it was announced NSPCC head Peter Wanless will hold a review into high-profile historical allegations after home secretary Theresa May called for the move.

But his plan to prosecute those who cover-up abuse in hospitals, boarding schools and children homes came under fire from campaigner Jonathan West.

He said on his blog: “The NSPCC needs to explain why it is that it thinks that children in these specific settings are deserving of the protection of mandatory reporting, while the vast majority of children not in residential settings do not deserve the same level of protection.

“It’s a bit like concluding that you need a law on drink driving, but then deciding it should be applied only to lorry drivers.

“People don’t know that a criminal act of child abuse has taken place unless they witness it – very rare – or the perpetrator admits it – even rarer.

“In all other situations, you don’t know, you just have a suspicion of varying degree depending on what you have seen or what a child has disclosed.”

We’ve backed Daniel’s Law – a campaign to make the reporting of child abuse mandatory for professionals. (s)

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