Nia Griffith MP is calling on the Home Secretary to take urgent action to make sure that people who have committed serious offences of abuse against children are put on the list of people barred from working with children.
Freedom of Information Requests made by the Labour Party to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have revealed that the number of people being added to the list of people barred from working with children dropped from over 11,000 in 2011 to just 2,660 in 2013. This means that the number of people barred is less than two thirds of the 4734 people convicted in 2013 of an offence categorised as child abuse by the CPS.
The figures show that thousands of people who are convicted of serious sexual offences are no longer being banned.
Nia Griffith explained:
“I was absolutely horrified to find out from the figures that thousands of people who have actually been convicted of serious sexual offences such as rape, sexual activity with a child, trafficking for sexual exploitation or controlling a child prostitute, are no longer being put on the list of barred individuals. We should remember that this list was established following Lord Bichard’s report into the Soham murders. Lord Bichard was looking into how Ian Huntley had come to get a job as a school caretaker despite being investigated for sex crimes on eight occasions. The report recommended that there should be a single specialist agency producing a list of individuals who posed a serious danger to children.Parents will rightly be very angry that at this failure to try to ensure that such individuals do not work near children. We need urgent action now to update this list to help ensure these individuals do not work with children, which is why I raised it in parliament with the Home Secretary, as well as asking her for an update on progress in setting up the Public Inquiry into Child Abuse. I do not want this to be yet another case of failing to implement recommendations leading to further abuse of children.“