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FACTion Vol 3-24 Nov 2010

FACTion Vol 3-24 Nov 2010

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Published by factuk
FACTion is the quarterly magazine of F.A.C.T. (Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers) a voluntary organisation based in the UK
FACTion is the quarterly magazine of F.A.C.T. (Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers) a voluntary organisation based in the UK

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Published by: factuk on Nov 29, 2010
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02/25/2011

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Nov 2010 Page 1
F.A.C.T.ION
C
AMPAIGN ON BEHALF OF FALSELY ACCUSED CARERS AND TEACHERS
FACT, INFORMATION, OPINION and NEWS
Have you thought about sponsoring an edition of FACTion
?
November 2010AGM and ConferenceEditionVol24Scrutiny of vetting and barring scheme gets underway
The system of checks that people working with children andvulnerable adults are required to undergo will beconsidered afresh in a radical examination of the Vettingand Barring Scheme (VBS).The Government has announced that it will undertake athorough review of the VBS which will re-examine whetherthe scheme is the most appropriate mechanism to protectchildren and vulnerable people and, if so, how many rolesshould be covered by it.As we reported in our last edition the Home Secretary,Theresa May, made clear the Government’s intention tobring the scheme back to common sense levels. This was inresponse to public concerns that in its current form thescheme was overly bureaucratic and burdensome.Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “While it isvital that we protect the vulnerable, this scheme as itstands is not a proportionate response. There should be apresumption that people wishing to work or volunteer withchildren and vulnerable adults are safe to do so unless itcan be shown otherwise.“We are also announcing a review of the criminal recordsregime which has developed piecemeal for years and is duefor an overhaul to ensure that we strike a balance betweenprotecting civil liberties and protecting the public.”The criminal records regime review will be led by SunitaMason, the Government’s Independent Advisor forCriminality Information Management who has alreadyarranged to meet interested parties, including F.A.C.T. inthe coming weeks. Ms Mason will consider whether thedisclosure of minor offences and police intelligence toprospective employers within the criminal records checkshould still form part of this process.The final recommendations for the scheme will beannounced early in the New Year.Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “We have tostrike the right balance in safeguarding vulnerable people.The risk of abuse can come from people close to victims,not just from paid staff and volunteers. No one cansubcontract responsibility for protecting at risk people, weall have a part to play. This review will help strike thatbalance and to consider afresh whether the scheme is thebest way of moving forward.”Children and Families Minister Tim Loughton said: “Childrenmust be protected when vulnerable and this is everyone’sresponsibility. Any vetting system should not be asubstitute for proper vigilance by individuals and society. Atthe moment the pendulum has swung too far and threatensto drive a wedge between children and well-meaningadults. Such individuals should be welcomed andencouraged as much as possible, unless it can be shownthat children would not be safe in their care.”The terms of reference will clearly set out how the reviewwill consider the fundamental principles and objectivesbehind the vetting and barring regime, including:
Ÿ
evaluating the scope of the scheme’s coverage
Ÿ
the most appropriate function, role and structures of any relevant safeguarding bodies and appropriategovernance arrangements
Ÿ
recommending what, if any, scheme is needed now;taking into account how to raise awareness andunderstanding of risk and responsibility forsafeguarding in society more generally.
Scrutiny of vetting and barringand CRB scheme gets underway
 
Page 2 Nov 2010
Editorial
As Chairman it falls to me to write ‘the editorial’. Firstly I wantto say thank you to those of you who voted me in, andsecondly thank you to George for holding the fort last year.We have had some excellent Chairmen and women - I justhope I can do as well as they have done.I think it is fair to say that following recent changes of personnel F.A.C.T. is moving out of a transition stage to amore consolidating phase. A lot of good work has been doneover the years and I am keen that we continue this progress.My first challenge is to try and ease the burden of work onestablished committee members by co-opting more people tosit on the committee with a view to taking on some new butspecific roles.I am very pleased to have Ian as our new secretary. Thisshould free up quite a bit of my time and enable me toconcentrate on some of those things which we need to dobut haven’t yet been able to do.Overall I think the support we provide to those in prison andelsewhere is very good but we need to do more to influencepublic opinion and act as an agent of change. This meansbuilding up even stronger relationships with the press,politicians and Government and non Government bodies. Ihave always thought it is very important that we engage withthem in a positive way. If we can show some understandingof where they are coming from we can justifiably expectthem to show equal understanding of all that we are trying todo and what we stand for.I also want to see a significant increase in F.A.C.T.membership during the next three years. As I often said,although people are very appreciative of the work we do andthe support we give, too few of them become F.A.C.T.members and engage directly with us. This is a tremendousburden on those who do become F.A.C.T. members andwholeheartedly commit themselves to what we do, and alsosupport most generously. To each one of you I say a very bigthank you.Some of these changes will take a while to work through butwith your help we can further strengthen F.A.C.T. and makeits voice heard.As many of you know my wife had a nasty fall recently andcrushed her upper arm. Many of you have sent cards and bestwishes so on her behalf and my own can I say thank you toyou all. She is getting better slowly, in less pain although stillunable to move her arm much.As a result of the above FACTion is a little late in coming outbut I am sure you will all understand why.With my very best wishes to you all,Michael
Falsely Accused Carers and TeachersCommittee and Editorial Team
F.A.C.T. is managed by a national committee who can becontacted as follows:Chairman Michaelmichael@factuk.org02920 777499Secretary Ian Bsec@factuk.orgO15 6474 2002Treasurer Ian Atreasurer@factuk.org01905 778170Membership Joy & Ianmembership@factuk.org01594 529 237Lobbying Jim01873 830493Media VacantPrison/Family Support Joyjoy-iangower@stroat.fsnet.co.uk01594 529 237
Contact Details
General Correspondence and F.A.C.T. business
The SecPO Box 15971SolihullB93 3GG01594 529 237
Helpline, Advice, FACTion Newsletter and Website
MichaelPO Box 3074Cardiff WalesCF3 3WZ02920 777 499FACTion:
FACTion is produced at approximately bi-monthlyintervals at the national committee’s discretion, andis provided free of charge to F.A.C.T. members.The editorial team welcome articles for publication,of between 150 and 1,500 words, and letters of notmore than 200 words. These should be sent,preferably by email to: faction@factuk.org or by postto FACTion, P.O. Box 3074, Cardiff, CF3 3WZ.The editorial team reserve the right to edit anyarticle or letter sent for publication.All submissions must be accompanied by your nameand address which, on request, will be withheld frompublication.The views contained in FACTion do not necessarilyrepresent those of F.A.C.T., or its nationalcommittee.
 
Nov 2010 Page 3
Chris Saltrese Solicitors is a law firm providing a premium service in representingclients accused of sexual offences and domestic violence, in criminal proceedings.We have unrivalled expertise in these areas, both regionally and nationally.Many of our clients face allegations as a result of:
Ÿ
domestic or relationship disputes,
Ÿ
contact disputes,
Ÿ
mental health problems,
Ÿ
financial incentivesand have no prior experience of the criminal justice system. Often theseallegations involve uncorroborated, historic allegations.In this complex arena specialist legal advice and representation is vital especially asrecent changes in the law, designed to convict genuine offenders, also put theinnocent at greater risk of injustice.We particularly welcome carers, teachers, and health care professionals who havebeen accused of abuse and are likely to be subject to a criminal investigation.Where allegations have been made we would be happy to advise, whether or notcriminal investigations are underway.For further information please contact
Chris Saltrese Solicitors
Chris Saltrese Solicitors
13 Scarisbrick New Road
13 Scarisbrick New Road
Southport, PR8 6PU
Southport, PR8 6PU
Phone: 01704 535 512
Phone: 01704 535 512
Chris Saltrese Solicitors
Home Office Confirm the Government’s Intentionto Reform the Notification Arrangements of thosePlaced on the Sex Offenders Register 
Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that the notification requirementsof the sex offenders registers breach Article 8 (right to privacy and family life)of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Through its legaladvisor F.A.C.T. has since been pressing the Home Office for details of whenthe Government intends to introduce legislation in order to ensurecompliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.In a recent letter from the Home Office it has been confirmed that theGovernment is obliged to provide a remedy within the next 12 to 18 monthsand intends to do so. We do not know what form this remedy will take or towhat extent it will be conditional upon the index offence and/or sentencehanded out. This battle is by no means over, and no doubt there will be manytwists and turns before a solution is found.We therefore urge all those who are affected by this ruling, or who have aninterest in justice issues, to lobby your own MPs and make sure that theyhave a full understanding of the need for reform.mail@chrissaltrese.co.ukwww.chrissaltrese.co.uk/
AGM Business Report
The F.A.C.T. AGM was again held inBirmingham in Septembers when theChairman, Secretary and Treasurerpresented their reports to members,(Copies of both the Chairman’s andthe Secretary’s report appear onpages 8-10. A copy of the Treasurersreport was circulated to members andis available to members on request.)A number of resolutions were putforward for consideration. Theseincluded resolutions to the effect thatadvance notice be given of anyresolutions received and any proposedalterations to the Constitution, andthat members should be allowed apostal vote. A resolution that thesematters be held in abeyance until theMay conference was carried bymajority vote.A resolution was also placed beforethe members to the effect that themaximum number of co-optedmembers on the national committeebe increased from three to six. Thiswas passed by unanimous vote.Notice was also given at the AGM of ameeting to be held on the 25thSeptember with a number people whohad volunteered to help F.A.C.T. carryout some of its key tasks.This meeting took place as arrangedand was attended by 6 volunteers, allof whom have agreed to help inparticular ways. An offer was made byGarry to do some press work, by Geoff to undertake some lobbying work(letter writing), by Paul to assist in thewriting of submissions to Governmentdepartments and other bodies.We also had an offer from Paula tohelp with strategic planning. John andRosie offered to help in the productionof FACTion, and Claire to be our proof reader.All of these offers will be taken up butwe still need other people to help usin other ways.If YOU have a few hours a week tospare, or have a particular interest in aF.A.C.T issue, or have developed somespecialist knowledge,we would love tohear from you.A little girl who had wandered off from a nursery, was spotted by a male car driverwho did not stop to help her because he thought he could be accused of abuse orabduction; the girl then fell into a garden pond and drowned.

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