The recent developments in the world of UK football with numerous child sex abuse claims are deeply disturbing for us all.
The investigation which is currently underway into accusations of child sex abuse within the FA highlights why training in safeguarding children is so important for any organisation.
At Peel Solutions we offer a range of training courses in this area. The team at Peel Solutions includes experienced former police investigators and crime analysts. All courses have been developed by individuals with real, practical experience of dealing with safeguarding issues.
As specialists in the training of law enforcement in safeguarding children from sexual exploitation Peel find the current situation in the FA both troubling and a poignant reminder that any organisation can potentially fail in their duty to protect vulnerable people no matter how large or prestigious.
For those who have not been following the story so closely, the UK was shocked to learn last month that many young people may have been sexually abused in football clubs after former Crewe, Bury and Sheffield United player Andy Woodward told the Guardian he was sexually abused as a youth player.
Since then a number of other players have also waived their right to anonymity and come forward to reveal their own abuse stories, including former England and Tottenham midfielder Paul Stewart and ex-Manchester City striker David White.
Police have recently revealed that there are at least 83 potential suspects who have been identified following the allegations.
An internal review is underway but many are saying this is not enough and an independent investigation needs to be considered. So far only an internal review is confirmed, however 21 police forces, including the Metropolitan Police have opened investigations into the claims. The following police forces are known to be investigating child sex abuse claims in football clubs:
Devon and Cornwall
Avon and Somerset
Police Service of Northern Ireland
FA chairman Greg Clarke cited the allegations as the biggest crisis facing the organisation that he could ever remember.
The Metropolitan Police released figures on Tuesday 13th December that revealed they were looking into at least 30 clubs/teams. Approximately 98 amateur and professional clubs are said to have been affected by allegations but the accurate figure could even higher.
At this stage, it is impossible to say how many people are involved and how widespread the problem could be.
Any organisation that works with children should ensure that their staff are appropriately trained and have an awareness of safeguarding children. Even staff who may not work directly with children but may have some contact with children as part of their work should receive at least basic awareness training.
At Peel Solutions we have developed a comprehensive programme of training courses which are suitable for any organisation looking to equip their employees with the awareness and knowledge to deal appropriately with any issues which could arise. Courses range from basic awareness training, which we believe is worthwhile for staff at all levels in any organisation, to more in-depth training for those who work directly with children and need extensive knowledge and a thorough understanding of the issues. We also offer courses dealing with the online abuse, child sexual exploitation, safeguarding adults at risk, domestic abuse and a specialist course for those involved in investigations.
We understand that different organisations face very different challenges in this area so we are also able to offer bespoke courses on safeguarding to meet an organisation’s specific requirements.
If the recent media coverage and news of these latest allegations has prompted you to think about training for your organisation then get in touch.