Blunkett considers licences to work with children following Soham errors

    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.

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