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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Anglican Church Investigation Report

Contents

B.2.3: External reporting

Policy and practice guidance

15. Responding to, Assessing and Managing Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations Against Church Officers, produced by the House of Bishops, makes it clear that the Church should engage closely with statutory agencies. Where the DSA has been notified of a safeguarding concern or allegation against a church officer or volunteer and finds that the requirement for external referral has been reached, he or she must inform the relevant authorities within 24 hours of receipt.[1]

16. In 2017, only 28 percent of safeguarding concerns or allegations relating to the sexual abuse of children were reported to statutory agencies. Mr Tilby told us there could be various explanations for this. For example, reports received by dioceses might not reach the threshold for referral to statutory agencies, but instead “lead to advice or signposting assistance being given or a record kept of the concern without the need for action”.[2]

17. A failure to make prompt referrals can permit perpetrators of child sexual abuse to evade justice for many years, as shown by the Timothy Storey case (see the Pen Portraits above).

References

Footnotes

  1. ACE025256_026. Thresholds for referral to social care can be accessed via local safeguarding procedures as published by local safeguarding children boards and safeguarding adults boards. Where there is an indication that a crime may have been committed, the case should also be referred to the local police.
  2. ACE027643_076
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