Church appoints Metropolitan police officer to child protection post

 Following the appointment of Oxford-educated child protection specialist Eileen Shearer to oversee the Catholic Church's child protection policy in England and Wales, the Catholic Diocese of Westminster under the leadership of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has appointed another seasoned professional, former Detective Inspector Peter Turner, to the new post of Child Protection Officer for the Diocese. Peter, who is 53, has been responsible for the ongoing review of child protection procedures for the whole of the Metropolitan police. He ended his career as head of the Child Protection Team in Newham, East London. On Peter's appointment, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to appoint to this new post someone with an established track record at a very senior level in the field of child protection. Peter brings with him a wealth of experience after a distinguished career in the Metropolitan Police. The Church is absolutely committed to the very highest standards of child protection and I am confident that in Peter and Eileen we have at the diocesan and national level two people who will help us attain those standards and more." Peter Turner will be managed by the Catholic Children's Society in the Diocese. Jim Richards, Director, and also a member of the Diocesan Child Protection Committee, is looking forward to helping develop the new post. He said: "Peter Turner brings with him a wealth of relevant experience. He was clearly a highly respected member of the Metropolitan Police and is keen to use his knowledge for the benefit of the Church". Peter Turner is married to a Catholic with a musician son of 23 and a 19 year old daughter at Reading University. He is a governor of Brentwood Ursuline Convent School for Girls and a soccer enthusiast, who chairs the Romford and District Referee Association, where he is also an assessor of referees. Fact File: The Diocese of Westminster comprises Greater London Boroughs north of the Thames and west of Waltham Forest and Newham, plus the districts of Staines and Sunbury-on-Thames, and the county of Hertfordshire. The Diocese has 214 parishes served by 588 priests, of whom 416 are diocesan priests and 372 are religious priests (members of religious orders). There are 219 convents in the diocese. The estimated Catholic population is 460,000, of whom approximately 158,265 (34%) attend Church on any ordinary Sunday. There are 225 Catholic schools in the Diocese (of which 164 are primary), with 84,000 pupils in total (44,000 in primary education). source: Public Affairs Office, Archbishop's House

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