News 2021: 10 items (Safeguarding)

15/09/2021: Online child abuse crimes have surged by three-quarters and more must be done to protect children online

While online abuse crimes have surged by 78% over the last four years, new Government plans to regulate social media through the Online Safety Bill fall significantly short of tackling this issue.


06/09/2021: Reports of sex abuse between children double in two years

Reports of children sexually abusing other children doubled in the two years to 2019, according to police figures obtained by BBC Panorama. The programme has followed up on research from 2017, when police recorded almost 8,000 reports of abuse among under-18s in England and Wales. Yearly reports have risen to between 15,000 and 16,000, but cases fell in 2020-21 during the pandemic.

Read: BBC

02/09/2021: Millions of children in religious groups in England and Wales vulnerable to abuse

Children involved in religious organisations, including Sunday schools and madrasas, are vulnerable to sexual abuse in cultures where victim blaming, abuse of power and mistrust of external authorities are common, a report says.

Read: Guardian

02/09/2021: IWF welcomes new online safety rules but warns more still needs to be done to make sure children are safe online

New online safety rules are a welcome step, but more still needs to be done to make sure children are kept safe online, says the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The Age Appropriate Design Code, which comes into effect today (September 2), sets out 15 standards that online services need to follow. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says this ensures they are complying with their obligations under data protection law to protect children’s data online.

24/08/2021: NSPCC: Record numbers of children groomed online amid pandemic

Record numbers of child grooming incidents took place online during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, police data shows. There were 5,441 sexual communication with a child offences recorded across 42 police forces between April 2020 and March 2021, data obtained by the NSPCC through a Freedom of Information request shows.

24/08/2021: Facebook ‘fuels child grooming’: Rise in offences is blamed on tech giant as it emerges online cases rocketed during Covid pandemic

Online grooming of children shot up during the pandemic with almost half of offences carried out via apps owned by Facebook, a major report said yesterday. The NSPCC said offences of sexual communication with a child recorded by police went up nearly 70 per cent between 2018 and 2021.

Read: Daily Mail

22/08/2021: What happens to the children of women killed by men?

In the latest part of our series, we highlight the lack of official support in the UK for traumatised youngsters and those left to pick up the pieces. But, amid the grief, is there still hope for the future?

Read: Guardian

21/08/2021: Serious child harm cases in England rose by 20% during pandemic

Serious child harm cases reported by councils in England rose by nearly 20% during the first year of the pandemic, including a 19% rise in child death notifications, according to latest official statistics. There were 536 serious incident reports in England during 2020/21, up 87 (19%) from 449 in 2019/20, and an increase of 41% on the number of incidents recorded five years ago. Children aged under one accounted for 36% of notifications last year.

Read: Guardian

20/08/2021: ADCS: ‘significant concern’ over care review’s suggestion of ‘tension’ between protection and support

The vice president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has described as a “significant concern” suggestions made by the children’s care review of separating early help and child protection services. “We don’t think [separating services] is a good move,” Steve Crocker, who is also the DCS in Hampshire, told Community Care this week in an interview following the closing date for submissions responding to the review’s initial ‘case for change’ report.

11/08/2021: England’s pandemic crisis of child abuse, neglect and poverty

A looming crisis of children suffering abuse, neglect and poverty has been exposed, with growing numbers of young people taken into care in some of England’s most deprived communities during the pandemic. A Guardian investigation into the state of children’s services in the last 18 months has revealed a sharp rise in social services referrals during lockdown, plus spiralling costs for mental health support and a bulging backlog in the family courts, with some councils buckling under the weight of the extra work brought by coronavirus.

Read: Guardian

11/08/2021: Crisis in children’s services in England is shocking if not surprising

The problems faced by England’s children’s services described in the Guardian’s investigation – buckling under the weight of youngsters taken into care and struggling to help vulnerable families in need – are shocking if not surprising. This is a crisis that has been long brewing. The pandemic has made it even more acute.

Read: Guardian

05/08/2021: Nine in 10 child sexual abuse survivors experience mental health problems, review finds

The mental health of almost all survivors of child sexual abuse has been impacted by their ordeal, new research shows. Research from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse found that 88 per cent of victims and survivors have seen their mental health impacted as a result of their abuse.

28/07/2021: Campaigners push to stop this being ‘the summer of online sexual abuse’ against children

Campaigners are warning teenagers and their parents about online grooming and sexual exploitation as schools break up for the summer. Campaigners are warning teens about online grooming and sexual abuse during the school summer holidays as a former top police child protection expert says the problem has “escalated” in recent years. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), with support from tech companies including Microsoft, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, is reaching out to teenagers to empower them to stand up to online grooming and child sexual abuse.

26/07/2021: More than 250 people have been convicted of child sex abuse while working with the Scouts, new figures show

More than 250 people involved with the Scouts have been convicted of child sexual abuse, it was revealed yesterday. There were 255 convictions for rape, indecent assault, voyeurism and offences related to sexual images among Scout leaders and others in positions of responsibility.

Read: Daily Mail

25/07/2021: More than 250 convicted of child sexual abuse in UK and Ireland while in Scout movement

More than 250 people in the UK and Ireland have been convicted of child sexual abuse offences committed while they were Scout leaders or in other positions of responsibility within the Scout movement since the 1950s, according to analysis that raises questions about the organisation’s safeguarding procedures.

Read: Guardian