Tag Archive: lancashire

  1. New Operation Encompass scheme will help police protect children

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    A charity-based scheme has been launched in Lancashire to link schools with the Police to help protect children from domestic abuse.

    Operation Encompass initially launched in a number of locations across the UK in 2011 as a trial, and has proven so effective that it is now being rolled out throughout the country. The scheme enables schools and Police to partner up, creating a more effective means of communication between them.

    Confidential and Secure

    The scheme ensures that key information passed on from school to Police or vice-versa about domestic abuse incidents is only shared with designated staff members under the strictest confidence – no details are widely shared in order to protect the children it is serving. This enables the immediate and discrete recognition of the child’s situation by an individual named as the “Key Adult”, ensuring a secure and sympathetic environment is provided and the broader effects of abuse are addressed.

    The aim of this information sharing process is to ensure that every child involved in any domestic abuse-related incidents receives the appropriate on-going support they need, and to make sure that existing safeguarding measures are being effectively provided. Operation Encompass will function alongside any police investigations.

    What will Operation Encompass set out to do?

    Operation Encompass is essentially an early information sharing partnership. What the scheme will set out to do in Lancashire will be to enable Police to work with schools to give children who have experienced an incident – even indirectly – the support they need. This begins prior to the next school day, ensuring plans are in place for when the child arrives in the morning and so that the Key Adult can discuss with the child what they need and how they would like to be supported.

    Why was Operation Encompass launched in Lancashire?

    Experiencing domestic abuse is harmful to children; it is often referred to as an Adverse Childhood Experience and can lead to emotional, physical and psychological harm, as well as potentially creating long-lasting issues such as the development of depression, stress, anxiety and other psychological issues.

    In Lancashire and across the country, Operation Encompass aims to reduce the negative effects of domestic abuse on children by making it simpler and easier for immediate support to be provided.

    On the Operation Encompass website, they state their goal as simply: “Making a child’s day better and giving them a better tomorrow.

    Coordinating the scheme for Lancashire Police is Detective Superintendent Joanne McHugh, who said: “We know that there are damaging, long-term effects for children who live in homes where domestic abuse takes place. They are often the ‘hidden’ victims and their voices don’t always get heard.”

    “We also know that the police are generally not called after one domestic abuse incident – in fact, statistics show on average we aren’t made aware until several incidents have already taken place, many of which may have been witnessed by children. This is why it is imperative that we seize every opportunity to make sure those children are offered the necessary support.”

    “At Lancashire Police, our primary aim is to keep our residents safe and feeling safe, and we hope this shows our commitment to doing just that. Op Encompass is a very simple but very effective scheme which will help safeguard some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

    Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw also added: “We know that over 90% of domestic violence incidents are witnessed by children so I am really pleased to see Operation Encompass rolled out across Lancashire.

    For more information about our family law solicitors, or to talk to a member of our family law and children matters team in confidence, please call 01282 433 241.

  2. Child Cruelty Offences in the North West “almost double”

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    Figures from the NSPCC – the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – have revealed that child cruelty and neglect offences have almost doubled over the last five years.

    This shocking announcement means that since 2012, the number of recorded offences against children rose from 120 to 153 in 2017/2018. According to Blackburn with Darwen Council children’s boss Maureen Bateson, the rising number of cases is partly driven by increasing levels of poverty in the area, especially because of cuts to council grants and benefits.

    The NSPCC’s chief executive Peter Wanless said that he felt it was unclear why the number of child cruelty offences had risen so sharply. One explanation he posed could be the increase in public awareness around child neglect and child cruelty, causing an increase in reports and subsequent charges and arrests. In a recent statement he said:

    “Whatever the reasons for the increase in child neglect, there is something we can all do about it now. We need to be aware of vulnerable children and be ready to report it to the NSPCC or the authorities if we are concerned for their safety or wellbeing.”

    Suspect Child Cruelty or Neglect? Here’s What To Do:

    If you suspect that a child you know or care for is being treated cruelly or with neglect, here is what the NSPCC recommend as the best course of action.

    • Talk to the child in a non-confrontational way
    • Keep note of your concerns to see if there is a pattern
    • Talk to the child’s teacher, health visitor or other caregiver
    • Talk through your concerns with a trained NSPCC team member on 0808 800 5000

    If you are unsure what to do, call the NSPCC who will be able to refer you to the relevant child services officers or the police. In the North West, recent reports to the police have included extreme cases of when a parent or carer deliberately neglected, assaulted, abandoned or exposed their child to serious harm.

    Reporting child cruelty or neglect can be done anonymously. The welfare of the child is everyone’s top priority, and their home situation and support network is taken into consideration before any action is taken.

    Victims of Historical Child Abuse

    At DRN, we have an expert team of empathetic child abuse lawyers available for consultation and legal advice in Burnley, Ramsbottom and Colne. Our team has years of experience in representing vulnerable people, including children. We have also represented adult individuals in cases of historical child abuse, which helped to gain closure for those affected.

    Defending Against Child Neglect and Child Cruelty Cases

    In some cases, there is no evidence to support the notion that a child has been neglected to treated cruelly by an individual, despite allegations of either being reported by another person. Being wrongly accused of neglect is a devastating blow, and can affect your life, career and even your family and relationships with others.

    Our team of experienced defence lawyers and abuse solicitors in Lancashire can deal with your case sympathetically, carefully and without judgement, offering practical support, enabling you to overcome unfair or erroneous allegations, clear your name and continue with your life.

    If you would like to speak to a member of the DRN team confidentially about a child abuse, child cruelty or neglect case, or you would like some legal advice on how to begin or continue a case, please contact us today on 01282 433 241.