The Government has set out its plans for a mandatory duty in England to report known or suspected child sexual abuse .  What is the proposed duty?

The duty to report child sex offences intends to make it a legal requirement for people engaging in ‘relevant activity’ in England to report child sexual abuse to the police or local authority when:

  • they are told about it by a child or the person who has carried out the abuse
  • they witness the abuse happening.

‘Relevant activity’ includes all regulated activity, and a list of other specified activities.   If you require enhanced DBS checks – you are classified as a regulated activity.

Anyone working with children should have robust safeguarding policies and procedures so that individuals, organisations, staff and volunteers know what to do if they have a concern about a child.

The proposed duty is an additional measure designed to ensure that information about child sexual abuse is shared with the relevant agencies, so that appropriate action can be taken to safeguard and support the child involved.

Organisations will need to understand how the new duty applies to staff and volunteers who are working with children, and how to integrate the additional reporting requirements into their existing policies, procedures and processes