In 2007, the Church of England commissioned a Past Case Review, which sought to look at the handling by the Church of child protection cases over many years. This entailed an independent scrutiny of the files of clergy and church officers to identify any persons presenting on-going risks to children and young people (a child or young person is anyone under the age of 18) which had not been acted on appropriately. The House of Bishops wants to ensure that our churches and church-related activities are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable adults. All Dioceses have therefore been asked to extend the review in 2019 to include children, young people and vulnerable adults. This process is called Past Case Review 2 (PCR2).
The PCR2 process is welcomed by the Diocese of Peterborough, and the Bishop of Peterborough has sent letters to all parishes asking incumbents to check that all-known instances within their parish, both recent and non-recent, have been notified to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA), Bev Huff. The DSA has also written to all statutory partner leads for the three local authority areas we work with, to inform them of the process and to identify points of contacts. PCR2 is a central part of the Diocese of Peterborough’s proactive approach to identifying any occasions where abuse allegations have not been managed appropriately or safely, or with the needs of the vulnerable at the centre of its decision making.
On 16th September 2019, Independent Reviewers (IR) – selected for the role by the National Safeguarding Team – started reviewing files held within the Diocese. The IR will inform the DSA immediately if they identify any issues that require action to:
- mitigate risk
- report offences to the police
- report concerns to the local authority or another body
- provide support to an individual who has previously asked for help, and where there is no evidence that appropriate support was offered.
The welfare of children or of adults at risk of abuse is of paramount importance in the execution of our PCR2. We urge anyone wishing to give information or make disclosures of church-related abuse to make direct contact with our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers (DSA) on 01733 887040 / 887041. If you feel it would be easier to email, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Diocese of Peterborough has also appointed an independent advocate to provide the lead for survivor care, support and engagement. If you wish to contact her, please contact the DSA team as above.
We recognise that this option may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the Church. A dedicated telephone helpline, operating independently from the Church, has therefore been set up for those affected by issues which may arise as a result of PCR2. The number is 0800 80 20 20 – ‘Past Cases Review 2 NSPCC Helpline for Children and Adults’.