(Cyfieithiad i ddilyn)
Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for Children and Adults At risk of Neglect, Abuse or Exploitation
Date drafted: July 2019
Date approved by Board of Trustees: 23.07.2019
Author: Gareth Llwyd, Trustee
Date for Review: July 2022
Mae’r ddogfen yma ar gael yn y Gymraeg / This document is available in Welsh.
Remember it is not up to you to decide if abuse has taken place,
BUT it is your legal duty to report anything that concerns you about the safety of a Child or Adult even if they don’t involve our staff or service
This Policy and Procedure must be read in conjunction with the Society’s Criminal Records Policy and Safe Recruitment Policy.
Safeguarding is everyone’s business
1. Mission statement
In our work with children / young people / adults who may be at risk due to age, illness or disability, we will endeavour at all times to provide services and activities which are safe for children, young people or adults at risk to participate in.
We aim to protect our staff, volunteers and service users from
- harm or maltreatment or exploitation;
- prevent the impairment of health or development;
- ensure the provision of safe and effective care, support and guidance;
- promote people’s life chances, opportunities and growth;
- ensure children enter adulthood successfully, and
- adults participate fully and to the best of their ability.
We will work in partnership with other local / national agencies to put in place appropriate procedures for reporting, making referrals, accessing training, specialist support as and when required.
2. Safer recruitment
We will seek to recruit all paid staff and volunteers using appropriate procedures, safeguards and checks. We will determine which roles are in regulated activity and so subject to a barring list check, which roles are eligible for enhanced DBS checks only, and take up references for all posts and volunteer roles.
We will provide an induction programme for all new volunteers and staff, appropriate training to enable all personnel to undertake their roles safely and confidently, and ongoing training as benefits the personal and professional development of individuals and of our organisation.
We will review our recruitment procedures in response to changes in legislation and systems external to our organisation e.g. the Disclosure and Barring Service.
All volunteer roles will be supported by a nominated member of our staff and volunteer roles which would otherwise be regulated activity, will be appropriately supervised.
Volunteers will be treated equally alongside any paid staff, and all volunteers will be offered the same opportunities for advancement, responsibility, training and gaining qualifications and acknowledgement for their contribution to our organisation.
Volunteers, as well as paid staff, will adhere to the Code of Conduct at all times as a representative of our organisation.
4. Safeguarding Officer
The Society’s Director will act as Our Safeguarding Officer, and s/he will be supported by the Senior Rehabilitation Officer as Deputy.
They will be available to all staff, volunteers and service users to speak to when they have any concerns, issues or complaints regarding the safety, well-being or conduct of service users, volunteers and staff.
The safeguarding officer and deputy will have access to appropriate training to support them in these roles.
- Gather information in order to establish which facts are known within the organization to decide on appropriate actions;
- Make a referral (if appropriate) to the statutory agencies, Social Services or the Police, and act as a single point of contact with other agencies;
- liaise with appropriate local and national agencies;
- contribute to appropriate policies;
- maintain records and keep confidentiality;
- adhere to and promote this policy within the organisation;
- support or provide access to services for individuals suffering harm or abuse;
- Provide support to staff and volunteers who provide direct support to others;
- Report on Safeguarding matters to the Board of Trustees.
Note: The Organisation and the Safeguarding Officer should not conduct an investigation into concerns, but the Safeguarding Officer can gather information to establish what facts are known internally within the organisation in order to make a referral (if appropriate) to statutory agencies, Social Services or the Police, and act as a single point of contact with other agencies.
5. Awareness of Harm and Abuse in our Organisation
Harm is caused by accidents, deliberate abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial), neglect (deliberate or not) or factors such as bullying, prejudicial attitudes, hate crime, exploitation or a failure to enable a person to participate in activities that are open to most of their peers.
All incidents of harm to anyone involved in our service will require an appropriate, prompt and timely response to safeguard the individual (s), to reduce risks and improve our service. All concerns / allegations of neglect or abuse, shall be discussed internally with the Safeguarding Officer within 24 hours in order to decide on making a direct referral to Social Services and/or the Police.
Deliberate acts of harm (sexual, physical, emotional, financial), exploitation and neglect are abuses against the person and will incur disciplinary proceedings and require reports and referrals to social services, the police, other professional bodies and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) where appropriate.
To encourage everyone involved in our organisation to understand that safeguarding is everybody’s business, we will:
- hold forums / agenda trustees meetings;
- provide opportunities for discussions about issues and concerns, policy and procedures to reflect, review and to continue to learn and improve in our safeguarding responsibilities.
6. Risk of Harm
Where there is risk of harm to our service users, volunteers or staff, the Safeguarding Officer and deputy are empowered to act accordingly.
- to log all conversations regarding the issue
- to sign and request signatures on reports and statements
- to seek advice from expert sources
- to share concerns (with consent where required and appropriate) internally with senior officers / nominated member of the Board of Trustees with responsibility for Safeugarding matters;
- to share concerns and make referrals to external agencies such as Social Services or the Police as appropriate to the circumstances
- to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service regarding staff or volunteers in regulated activity whose conduct is harmful to service users and when they are removed from regulated activity
All reports and logs (including personnel records) will be kept securely and confidential according our data protection policy and confidentiality statement, until or unless it is necessary to share this material with appropriate agencies. Information will be shared on a “need-to-know” basis only.
Referrals made by a trustee, employee, volunteer or contracted service provider should not be made anonymously and should be made in the knowledge that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Information given belongs to the agency to which it was given and may be shared on a “need to know” basis. During the course of enquiries, the agency that made the referral will be identified as individuals may be required to give evidence.
The Society will not tolerate harassment of any trustee, employee, volunteer, contractor, child or vulnerable adult who raise concerns of abuse, exploitation or neglect.
8. Communication and Reporting Concerns
We will communicate this policy to all staff, trustees, volunteers, service users and their families / carers, using appropriate methods, formats and language so that our message is understood by all.
We support and encourage all service users, volunteers and staff to speak up where they have
- a concern – a worry, issue or doubt about practice or treatment of a service user or colleague, or their circumstances,
- a disclosure – information about a person at risk of or suffering from significant harm)
- an allegation – the possibility that a volunteer or staff member could cause harm to a person in their care; and
- to report to our named Safeguarding Officer or deputy.
9. Whistle blowing (disclosure in the public interest)
We encourage staff or volunteers to report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, putting someone’s health and safety in danger or covering up wrongdoing.
In the first instance they should speak with the Safeguarding Officer, their deputy or the trustee with appropriate responsibility
Though we would prefer our members and personnel to use internal processes whenever possible to make a report as above, this does not prevent them from making a report or referral to e.g. Social Services or the Police in their own right as a private individual under the provisions of the Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act 2014.
10. Special considerations
10.1 Any group, event, forum, open day or activity organised regularly or occasionally by the Society
When the Society receives information that a service user or a volunteer pose a risk to other service users, volunteers or staff, then the Society will act as follows:
- Share concerns with other appropriate agencies;
- Organise a risk assessment of the individual’s participation in the activity in order to minimise the risks to service users, volunteers and staff;
- Discuss the concerns with the individual that pose a risk/concern;
- Present the risk assessment and the Risk Management Plan to the attention of the Board of Trustees to determine whether it is appropriate for the individual to take part in services or activities provided by the Society;
- Inform the individual in writing of the Society’s decision in consultation with other appropriate agencies.
The individual that poses a risk/concern will not have a right to appeal against the Society’s decision and will not have a right to resubmit an application to take part in the same service/activity provided by the Society within 12 months of the decision made by the Board of Trustees.
11. Training and development
It is mandatory for trustees, staff and volunteers – that provide or take part in regulated activities – to receive basic awareness training of Safeguarding Matters and a refresher every three years. The Designated Safeguarding Officer and the Deputy Safeguarding Officer will monitor and ensure participation in safeguarding training.
The Society will provide appropriate Safeguarding Awareness training for Trustees, staff and relevant volunteers.
12. Other Related Policies
- Safer Recruitment and Appointment Policy and Recruitment of Ex-offenders
- Equality and Diversity Policy
- Disclosure and Barring Service
- Whistle blowing
- Supervision and Appraisal policies
Health and Safety policies
- Lone Working Policy
Bullying and Harassment Policy
Disciplinary and Dismissal Policies
- Staff Training and Development Policy
Reference should also be made to the safeguarding policies of the relevant local authority in each individual case.
13. Further Information
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) – Safeguarding pages:
Safe Working Culture and Practice
All staff are required to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to ensure the protection and safety of children and adults ‘at risk’. The guidelines detailed below provide good practice examples, which must be applied along with specific codes of conduct or behaviour (e.g. IOACC codes of conduct), which may apply to specific roles, activities or events.
- Always be publicly open to scrutiny when working with children and adults considered to be ‘at risk’ and avoid situations where a Councillor, Trustee, employee, volunteer or service provider and a child or children or a vulnerable adult(s) are alone, unobserved.
- Follow any incident reporting process required i.e. significant event, health and safety
- Children and adults ‘at risk’ have a right to privacy, equality, respect and dignity and a safe and positive environment
- Councillors, Trustees, employees, volunteers and contracted service providers must put the wellbeing and safety of the child or adult considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ before the development of performance
- If a child or adult considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ arrives at an activity or service showing signs or symptoms that give you cause for concern, you must act appropriately following the procedures outlined in the policy.
- Be aware of the need to practice safety when meeting children or adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’.
- Always work in accordance with this safeguarding policy. If in doubt contact the designated safeguarding officer.
- Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment i.e. no secrets)
- Treat all children and adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ equally, and with respect and dignity.
- Always put the welfare of each child and vulnerable adult first, before delivering or achieving goals.
- Maintain a safe and appropriate distance with participants (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child or vulnerable adult, or to share a room with them)
- Build a balanced relationship based on mutual trust which empowers children and adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ to share in the decision making process.
- Keep up to date on training and safeguarding issues.
- Keep up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport.
- Involve parents/carers wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children in the changing rooms. If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents/teachers/coaches/officials work in pairs).
- Be an excellent role model – this includes not smoking, drinking alcohol or swearing in the company of service users.
- Ensure that use of photographic and filming equipment is appropriate and permission of participants’ parent or carer has been sought.
- Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with any treatment given.
- Avoid spending time alone with children or adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ away from others.
Share a room with a child or adult considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’.
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching, use of violence or inappropriate language and sexually suggestive comments
- Reduce a child or adult ‘at risk’ to tears as a form of control or use any form of behaviour management techniques that are not authorised by the Society’s policy and procedure.
- Ignore allegations made by a child or adult considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’.
- Do things of a personal nature for children or adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ that they can do for themselves
- Invite or allow children or adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ to your home where they will be alone with you.
- Enter areas designated only for the opposite sex
- Use internet, other electronic or telephone device to access pornography sites.
Employees who breach any of the above codes of conduct will face investigation and possibly disciplinary action, which could lead to dismissal and the possibility of a criminal investigation where there is evidence of illegal activity.
Volunteers in breach of the above code of conduct will have their services terminated with immediate effect. Where there is evidence of illegal activity, the volunteer will be reported to the relevant authorities and may face criminal investigation.
The use of photography and filming equipment
The Society does not permit photography on any of its premises or in any event it organises without specific permission being granted. Individual services will set their own policy on permitting the use of photographic filming equipment, bearing in mind what is appropriate to their own sphere of activity.
The above policy relates also to the use of mobile phones with camera/video facilities.
Under no circumstances can children, young people and adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ be photographed without the express permission of their parents/carers.
Any concerns, including concerns regarding child sexual exploitation, modern slavery or radicalisation should be reported to a designated safeguarding officer.
The following guidelines should be followed:
- children and adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ (and their parents/carers) have a right to decide whether their photograph can be taken or not, and how those images may be used;
- written consent must be provided by individuals involved (and their parents/carers for children) for their images to be taken and used;
- check credentials of any photographers and organisations used;
- ensure identification is worn at all times;
- do not allow unsupervised access to children or adults considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ for photographic sessions;
- do not allow photographic sessions outside of activities or services or at a child or ‘vulnerable’ person’s home;
- if the participant is named, avoid using their photograph or footage;
- if a photograph or footage are used, avoid naming the participant;
- only use images of participants in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use.
With regard to the actual content it is difficult to specify exactly what is appropriate. However there are clearly some sports activities – swimming, gymnastics and athletics for example when the risk of potential misuse is much greater than for other sports. With these sports the content of the photograph should focus on the activity not on a particular child or vulnerable adult and should avoid full face and body shots.
Use of Electronic Communication
There is growing concern regarding what is and what is not permissible in the area of communication between adults and children. Understandably, with the rapid development of mobile phones, text messaging, e-mail and other forms of electronic communication, these methods of communicating have become common. Please refer to the Society’s Internet and e-mail policy.
Any concerns should be reported to a manager or to a Designated Safeguarding Officer.
What is Abuse and Neglect?
Abuse and neglect are forms of mistreatment of a child or adult considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child /or adult considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children/or adults ‘at risk’ may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or adult considered to be ‘at risk’.
Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child or adult considered to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’.
In adult protection emotional and psychological abuse is the wilful infliction of mental suffering, by a person in a position of trust. It includes verbal assault, humiliation, threats, depriving a person of due respect and the denial of dignity.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.
It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber-bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur in isolation.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child /or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child /or vulnerable adult is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children/ vulnerable adult in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children / or vulnerable adult to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child /vulnerable adult in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.
Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
In adult protection, neglect is a failure of any person having the responsibility, charge, care or custody of a vulnerable person to provide that degree of care which a reasonable person in a like position would provide. Neglect can involve intentional or unintentional acts.
Vulnerable adults may be susceptible to financial abuse, which is the deliberate exploitation or manipulation of a person’s legal or civil rights including the improper use of money or property.
This may include:
- withholding pension or property book
- not spending allowances on the individual
- not allowing the person access to their own money
- misuse of benefits
- mismanagement of bank accounts
- denying access to money
- theft of money or property
- pressure to change a will or asking someone who doesn’t have mental capacity to sign a will.
Abuse which affects more than one person within an organisation and is not addressed by the service’s management. However, it is not institutional abuse just because it occurs within a registered setting
Who might be causing the abuse?
The person who is responsible for the abuse is very often well known to the person abused and could be:
- a paid carer or volunteer
- a health worker, social care or other worker
- a relative, friend or neighbour
- another vulnerable resident or customer
- an occasional visitor or someone who is providing a service
- someone who deliberately exploits children and/or vulnerable people
Indicators of Abuse
Some of the more obvious signs of child or vulnerable adult abuse or bullying may include the following:
- Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries
- An injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent
- The child / vulnerable adult describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him/her
- Someone else (a child or adult) expresses concern about their welfare
- Unexplained changes in behaviour (e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper)
- Inappropriate sexual awareness
- Engaging in sexually explicit behaviour
- Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected
- Has difficulty in making friends
- Is prevented from socialising with others
- Display variations in eating patterns including overeating or loss of appetite
- Loses weight for no apparent reason
- Becomes increasingly dirty or unkempt
- Failure by parents or carers to meet the basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene and medical care
- Remember, if a child seems withdrawn there maybe a reasonable explanation. He/she may have experienced an upset in the family, such as a parental separation, divorce or bereavement.
It should be recognised that abuse DOES happen. It is not the responsibility of staff to decide that abuse is occurring but it is their responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting them to a Designated Safeguarding Officer.
It is important to recognise that in some cases of abuse, it may not always be an adult abusing a child or vulnerable adult. It may be that the abuser may be a peer, for example in the case of bullying. Bullying may be seen as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves.
Although anyone can be the target of bullying, victims are typically shy, sensitive and perhaps anxious or insecure. Sometimes they are singled out for physical reasons – being overweight, physically small, having a disability or belonging to a different race, faith or culture.
Bullying can include:
- Physical: e.g. hitting, kicking and theft,
- Verbal: e.g. name-calling, constant teasing, sarcasm, racist or homophobic taunts, threats, graffiti and gestures,
- Emotional: e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating and ignoring and
- Sexual: e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments.
Indicators of Bullying
The damage inflicted by bullying can frequently be underestimated. It can cause considerable distress to children and vulnerable adults, to the extent that it affects their health and development or, at the extreme, causes them significant harm (including self-harm). There are a number of signs that may indicate that a child or vulnerable adult is being bullied:
- behavioural changes such as reduced concentration and/or becoming withdrawn, clingy, depressed, tearful, emotionally up and down, reluctance to go to school, training or sports clubs
- a drop in performance at school or standard of play
- physical signs such as stomach-aches, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, bed-wetting, scratching and bruising, damaged clothes and bingeing for example on food, cigarettes or alcohol
- a shortage of money or frequent loss of possessions.
Other forms of abuse
Domestic Abuse (including Violence against Women and Sexual Violence)
The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. (These are not legal definitions) Examples of coercive control might include: The definition includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so called ‘honour based violence’, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
Section 5B of the 2003 Act introduces a mandatory reporting duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police. Arising from the Serious Crime Act 2015, the duty applies from 31 October 2015 onwards.
FGM constitutes a form of child abuse and violence against women and has significant physical and mental health consequences both in the short and long term. The short term consequences for a girl or woman subjected to FGM include severe pain, emotional and psychological shock, hemorrhage, infection, urinary retention, damage to other organs or even death. The longer term implications for girls or women who have had FGM Types 1 and 2 are likely to be related to the trauma of the actual procedure, while health problems caused by FGM Type 3 are extremely harmful and cause more severe damage to health and wellbeing, such as damage to the reproduction system, including infertility.
TYPES OF FGM
FGM has been classified by the World Health Organization into four types:
Type 1 – Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
Type 2 – Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are the ‘lips’ that surround the vagina).
Type 3 – Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
Type 4 – Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterising the genital area.
The age at which girls undergo FGM varies enormously according to the community. The procedure may be carried out when the girl is new-born, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during the first pregnancy. However, the majority of cases of FGM are thought to take place between the ages of 5 and 8 and therefore girls within that age bracket are at a higher risk.
FGM Protection Orders
Examples of the types of orders the court might make are:
- To protect a victim or potential victim from FGM from being taken abroad;
- To order the surrender of passports or any other travel documents, including the passport/travel documentation of the girl to be protected;
- To prohibit specified persons from entering into any arrangements in the UK or abroad for FGM to be performed on the person to be protected;
- To include terms in the order which relate to the conduct of the respondent(s) both inside and outside of England and Wales; and
- To include terms which cover respondents who are, or may become involved in other respects (or instead of the original respondents) and who may commit or
- Attempt to commit FGM against a girl.
Provision has been made for FGM Protection Orders to be made ex parte – without notice of the proceedings being given to the respondent, for example where there is reason to believe that the girl is likely to be harmed by the respondent or be removed from the jurisdiction if they were notified that a hearing was to take place on FGM. Consideration should also be given to whether it may also be appropriate for a FGM Protection Order to be made alongside other orders of the court (depending upon the facts of each case).
A Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) is a civil remedy issued under the FM (Civil Protection) Act 2007. It offers protection to a victim from all civil or religious ceremonies, by forbidding the respondent(s) themselves, or by encouraging or agreeing with any person whatsoever, from entering into any agreements in relation to the engagement or matrimony. A FMPO may contain such prohibitions, restrictions or requirements and any other such terms as the court considers appropriate for the purposes of the order. An application for a FMPO can be made by a victim, a person obtaining the court’s permission to apply for an order on behalf of the victim, a relevant third party or by the court of its own volition.
Breach of a FMPO is now a criminal offence under s120 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 which comes into force on 16 June 2015.
Honour Based Violence
Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community.
It is often linked to family members or acquaintances who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture. For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who:
- become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion
- want to get out of an arranged marriage
- want to get out of a forced marriage
- wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional in a particular culture.
Women and girls are the most common victims of honour based violence however it can also affect men and boys. Crimes of ‘honour’ do not always include violence. Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ might include:
- domestic abuse
- threats of violence
- sexual or psychological abuse
- forced marriage
- being held against your will or taken somewhere you don’t want to go
‘Honour’ based violence (HBV) is a form of domestic abuse which is perpetrated in the name of so called ‘honour’. The honour code which it refers to is set at the discretion of male relatives and women who do not abide by the ‘rules’ are then punished for bringing shame on the family. Infringements may include a woman having a boyfriend; rejecting a forced marriage; pregnancy outside of marriage; interfaith relationships; seeking divorce, inappropriate dress or make-up and even kissing in a public place.
A Hate Crime is defined as:
Any hate incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate
The Prevent Duty
‘Prevention’ in this context means reducing or eliminating the risk of radicalisation and individuals becoming involved in terrorism. Prevent includes but is not confined to the identification and referral of those at risk of being drawn into terrorism into appropriate interventions. These interventions aim to divert vulnerable people from radicalisation. ‘Radicalisation’ refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
‘Safeguarding’ is the process of protecting vulnerable people, whether from crime, other forms of abuse or (in this context) from being drawn into terrorist related activity.
The Channel Programme
Channel was first piloted in 2007 and rolled out across England and Wales in April 2012. Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The programme uses a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:
a. Identifying individuals at risk;
b. Assessing the nature and extent of that risk; and
c. Developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.
Channel may be appropriate for anyone who is vulnerable to being drawn into any form of terrorism. Channel is about ensuring that vulnerable children and adults of any faith, ethnicity or background receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those that would want them to embrace terrorism, and before they become involved in criminal terrorist related activity.
Channel assesses vulnerability using a consistently applied vulnerability assessment framework built around three criteria. The three criteria are:
a. Engagement with a group, cause or ideology;
b. Intent to cause harm; and
c. Capability to cause harm.
Forms of modern slavery include:
This is when people under 18 are moved internationally or domestically so they can be exploited.
Forced labour/ debt bondage
This is when victims are forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to. Low wages and increased debts mean not only that they cannot ever hope to pay off the loan, but the debt may be passed down to their children.
Victims are forced to work against their will, often working very long hours for little or no pay in dire conditions under verbal or physical threats of violence to them or their families. It can happen in many sectors of the economy, from mining to tarmacking, hospitality and food packaging.
Victims are forced to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts against their will, such as prostitution, escort work and pornography. Whilst women and children make up the majority of victims, men can also be affected. Adults are coerced often under the threat of force, or another penalty.
Often controlled and maltreated, victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis cultivation or pick pocketing against their will.
Victims are forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households with little or no pay, restricted movement, very limited or no free time and minimal privacy often sleeping where they work.
Places targeted by multi-agency operations:
- nail bars
- car washes
If you suspect that modern slavery is taking place please contact the police on 101.