Suella Braverman ‘committed’ to legal requirement on reporting child sex abuse

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Suella Braverman remains “committed” to a new legal requirement necessitating professionals working with children to report “signs or suspicions” of sexual abuse.

The government is expected to formally lay out its plans in the coming days as part of a drive toward tackling grooming gangs and protecting children.

Ms Braverman confirmed that Rishi Sunak would outline further details on measures tackling gangs specifically on Monday.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman (House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA)

(PA Wire)

In October 2022, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse described sexual abuse of children as an “epidemic that leaves tens of thousands of victims in its poisonous wake.”

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

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

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

“That is why I have committed to introduce mandatory reporting across the whole of England.”

Sexual abuse amongst children creates a “burning sense of injustice”, Ms Braverman said, adding that a failure to protect vulnerable people questions “the legitimacy of our democratic institutions.”

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

“When the most vulnerable people cannot rely on protection from those entrusted to safeguard them, cannot rely on the police to defend them, and cannot rely on the courts to deliver them justice, then the legitimacy of our democratic institutions is called into question.

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

The seven-year enquiry conducted 15 investigations before the publication of its final report, probing areas including Westminster and the church.

A total of 725 witnesses gave evidence, including 94 victims, 21 bishops, four archbishops, two archdeacons, one cardinal, 43 senior police officers, 29 Lords and Ladies, eight former government ministers, the former Director General of MI5 and three ex-prime ministers.

As part of this probe, King Charles gave evidence through a written statement about his time as the Prince of Wales, describing his relationship with shamed clergyman Peter Ball as “misguided.”

Notably, one strand of the inquiry investigated reports of children being sexually abused by the late Labour grandee Lord Janner. In total, the inquiry made 20 recommendations.

Suella Braverman ‘committed’ to legal requirement on reporting child sex abuse

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