Abuse ‘needs attitude revolution’

Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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Tougher policing and mandatory reporting are needed to bring about a “revolution in attitudes” to child sex abuse, the shadow home secretary has said.

Yvette Cooper restated a Labour pledge to introduce a legal duty on those working with children to report suspected abuse, backed up with the threat of criminal sanctions.

Her comments come following a major report into abuse at NHS hospitals by TV presenter Jimmy Savile, which made 14 recommendations to the Government but stopped short of backing mandatory reporting.

In an interview with the Independent on Sunday, Ms Cooper said: “Abusers are responsible for terrible crimes. So you need much stronger police action against criminals, but much stronger child protection.

“You need a revolution in attitudes towards this and towards children, so tinkering at the edges isn’t going to be enough. If cases come forward, you need to have every organisation listening to children and hearing children’s voices.

“We need to introduce mandatory reporting so that no institution can ever be tempted to think that the reputation of the institution matter more than the protection of the child … there has to be a stronger obligation to report and to act.”

Last week Labour leader Ed Miliband said he backed recommendations by the party’s victim’s taskforce, which included a statutory duty to report.

But Kate Lampard, who was asked by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to carry out the review into Savile’s abuse, said: ” We do not think it is appropriate for us to come to conclusions on mandatory reporting purely in the context of the lessons to be drawn from one particular historical sex abuse scandal.”

Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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