Former prime minister Theresa May told BBC News she had “no idea” of the scale of child abuse when she set up the inquiry in 2015. The public inquiry was given a broad remit to investigate historical allegations of child abuse, dating back to the 1950s, as well as claims that authorities, including the police, failed to properly investigate these allegations.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its final over-arching report recommending anyone who works with children and does not report child sexual abuse should be prosecuted.
The report also says institutions too often “prioritised their personal and institutional reputations above the welfare of those they were duty bound to protect.”
One of “The Report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse” recommendations for the UK government is mandatory reporting:
The UK government and Welsh Government should introduce laws requiring certain people to report child sexual abuse. These people are called ‘mandated reporters’. These laws would apply where a child or an abuser tells a mandated reporter that a child is being sexually abused, as well as if a mandated reporter witnesses a child being sexually abused or can see signs that indicate that a child has been sexually abused.
The Inquiry’s final Report sets out further detail about this recommendation including that it should be a crime to fail to make a mandatory report in certain circumstances. People who work in regulated activity in relation to children (under the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, as amended) and people in positions of trust and also police officers should be mandated reporters. Mandated reporters should make these reports as soon as possible to local authority children’s social care or the police.October 2022 Recommendation: Mandatory reporting
The Report of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse