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Friday, March 24, 2017
Fourth COPCA report published
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¬†The Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults presented its Fourth Annual Report today. The Report contains statistics drawn from the work of child protection in the Catholic Church. The Report shows that: In 2005 there were 18,000 CRB checks on ∑ all clergy ∑ all those working in the child protection system ∑ all employees working with children & vulnerable adults ∑ all new recruits ∑ existing volunteers This is 4,000 more than in 2004. 400 training events were held, for 5,000 people. More than 9 out of 10 parishes currently have a Local Child Protection Representative in place. These volunteer roles act to: ∑ Raise awareness among parishioners and act as a listening post for anyone with concerns ∑ Help carry out CRB checks in parishes ∑ Make sure all events & activities for children or vulnerable adults are safe In the course of 2005, 2 incidents of alleged sexual abuse by Catholic priests were reported as taking place during 2005, in addition to two alleged incidents of physical abuse and 1 allegation of possession of child abuse images. 16 alleged incidents of abuse taking place during 2005 were reported in relation to employees, volunteers and parishioners. Of these, 10 were allegations of sexual abuse. There were 54 alleged incidents of abuse reported as taking place prior to 2005, over a period of 65 years. The total figure for allegations reported to the police in 2005 was 60. These cases involved 75 alleged victims and 59 alleged offenders. Of these 60, 37 resulted in no further action by the Police. 18 are still under consideration and investigation and 4 have resulted in prosecutions with no convictions so far. There are 5,600 clergy working in England and Wales, 6,000 members of religious congregations, and approximately 130,000 volunteers working with children/vulnerable adults. The number of reported cases of alleged abuse has fallen in 2005. However, there is no room for complacency, and the Catholic Church remains determined to protect the most vulnerable by creating safe environments. Eileen Shearer, Director of COPCA said: "It is clear that we are succeeding in making child protection part of the fabric of the life of the Church. But there is no room for complacency: sex offenders are devious and persistent and we must always be on our guard. "I am proud that our work is winning international recognition, and we are increasingly being consulted by others tackling these difficult issues." The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham and Chair of the COPCA Management Board said: "This report, together with its three predecessors, gives a picture of steady and well founded progress in this most sensitive area of responsibilities in the life of the Catholic Church. "The real substance of the work achieved during this year lies in creating thoroughly safe environments in which the loving work of the church may proceed in confidence. "I would like to thank and congratulate all those involved in this for their achievements and for the growing confidence that is permeating the Catholic Community in these matters, which has been so very painful for many. Source: CCN
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