A central register for all people working with children is being
“urgently” considered by the government, following the
publication of the Bichard inquiry report, writes Sally
Home secretary David Blunkett said the recommendation, which could
mean that those working with children would be given a licence or a
photocard to prove they had been vetted, would be looked at
Speaking at the launch of his report into the failures that led to
Ian Huntley’s appointment as a school caretaker, Sir Michael
Bichard said he had discovered “errors, omissions, failures
and shortcomings which were deeply shocking”.
Blunkett has ordered the suspension of chief constable of
Humberside police David Westwood and next month a serious case
review into North East Lincolnshire Council’s handling of
allegations involving Huntley will be published.
Blunkett ordered the inquiry in December 2003 after it emerged that
Huntley, who was convicted of the murders of Holly Wells and
Jessica Chapman, had nine sexual allegations against him that were
not shown up by the vetting process.
Weaknesses in the handling of information by Humberside police
meant he could not be confident that it was Huntley alone who had
“slipped through the net”.
The report recommends that guidance should be produced to help
social service departments decide when not to pass on cases of
underage sex to the police. But it adds that the majority of cases
should be passed to the police and where they are not details
should be recorded on a database.