Restoring public confidence in the vetting procedures for those working with children must be a prime government objective, the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) said today (Thursday, 18 December).
The CPHVA, which represents health visitors and school nurses, welcomed the statement by Home Office minister, Hazel Blears about improving police vetting procedures, but said that ‘public confidence has taken yet another hammering’ following the conviction of Ian Huntley for the murders of Soham schoolgirls, Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.
The CPHVA Lead Professional Officer (Health Visiting), Obi Amadi said: ‘We have had the Victoria Climbie tragedy, the recent administrative problems over the vetting of new teachers and now Soham.’
‘The government has promised, in the past, to tighten up vetting procedures, yet Ian Huntley obtained the school caretaker job with embarrassing ease.’
‘Our members are disappointed that the government’s tough words have not yet been translated into firm action. We will, of course, support the government’s drive in improving vetting, but it must work and be seen to be working.’
‘Public confidence in the agencies that should be protecting children and young people is at a low ebb.’