ENGLAND – Childhood Lost campaign calls for ASBO-style restrictions to protect children

Family Law Week


Proposed amendment to Anti-social Behaviour Bill will be considered by Home Office

Childhood Lost, the campaign led by Nicola Blackwood, the Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon, and supported by charities, parents of victims, police officers, is calling for new restrictions on sex offenders who have not been convicted.

Nicola Blackwood intends to table an amendment to the Anti-social Behaviour Bill which would introduce child sex abuse prevention orders. They would operate in a similar way to anti-social behaviour orders. At present a sexual offences prevention order, though it can curtail a convicted offender’s movements, requires a conviction of the offender. It is understood that under the proposed legislation, police chiefs could seek an order using hearsay evidence and other intelligence about a suspected offender.

The Childhood Lost Campaign is petitioning for the introduction of six steps to stop child sexual exploitation. They are:

“STEP 1: Introduce new Child Sexual Abuse Prevention orders so police can prevent child sexual abuse
STEP 2: Make sure local areas set up the specialist child sexual exploitation centres needed to identify and protect victims
STEP 3: Give judges clear guidance on sentencing complex child sexual exploitation cases
STEP 4: Reform courts so that very vulnerable witnesses in child sexual abuse cases are no longer traumatised by giving evidence
STEP 5: Give the Education Secretary the power to order the publication of Serious Case Reviews
STEP 6: End the postcode lottery of support for victims of child sexual exploitation.”

BBC News reports that the Home Office has said that it will look at the proposals made by the campaign.

In July 2013 Lord Judge, the recently retired Lord Chief Justice, proposed new measures to ensure, in particular, the protection of vulnerable witnesses in cases concerning or alleging child sexual exploitation or abuse.

For more information about the proposals see BBC News and the Childhood Lost website.


SOURCE: Family Law Week

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