Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Little Stars Nursery case shows how Mandatory Reporting could prevent child abuse.

Paul Wilson - life sentence
The story of the Little Stars Nursery touches every heart string - no pun intended that this story appeared on the Heart FM page after they, together with thousands of other media outlets featured it yesterday - you can read the whole story here.

If Mandatory Reporting was introduced then the chances of this abuser remaining unreported and unchecked would have been much less likely. In simple terms it is not, and has never been, a criminal offence in this country for a professional to witness or suspect that abuse is taking place, yet fail to report it to either the police or the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer). We are way behind our Commonwealth partners, America, and many other countries round the world, where it is an offence punishable through the criminal courts. I have repeatedly blogged about this already.

The abuse of toddlers is particularly shocking, particularly during a nursery session. How must parents feel, when they know that the very person entrusted to look after their children abused them.

The abuser in this case was quite young - only 23 - one wonders what sort of upbringing he must have had, if he has chosen to abuse children. The statistics show that 95% of child abusers were abused in childhood. I am sure that the criminal court which gave him a life sentence, will have had the benefit of expert psychiatric or psychological evidence to help it.

Locking him up for life without some sort of investigation into his past will keep him away from the public, but we will not, as a society, find out why he did such an appalling thing, unless money is invested into a proper investigation. We need to find out why, so that we can detect the warning signs in others before it is too late.

Obviously the media are focusing on the victim rather than the perpetrator, who does not appear to have been demonised in this case.

The report in the media, however, focuses on the serious case review which has uncovered repeated failings by not only the nursery staff, but also Birmingham City Council, and Offsted. The obvious sanction is a criminal prosecution, but the police are powerless and toothless.

To quote the article,
"The inquiry's found council workers, Ofsted and staff at the nursery in Birmingham all failed to act...knowing he had a 'special relationship' with the child

In a statement, a spokesman for Birmingham City Council said the authority was sorry that it had failed to properly respond to concerns about Wilson.

Wilson is known to have raped the toddler on separate occasions about six months apart during his employment at Little Stars, which began in October 2009."
So what is the answer - change the law to make Mandatory Reporting a criminal offence. Join our petition, now, and invite all your Facebook friends to sign it also. Go to our petition by following this link.

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