Call for new child abuse law

Failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse should be made a criminal offence, the former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer has said. There have been calls to change the law to avoid any repeat of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Law 'must be changed' to avoid Savile repeats

The law must be changed to require child abuse allegations to be reported, a lawyer who represents dozens of Savile victims has said.

Jimmy Savile
Liz Dux wants more steps to be taken to ensure the Savile scandal is never repeated. Credit: PA

Abuse lawyer Liz Dux, of Slater & Gordon, welcomed the recent shift in attitudes towards child abuse, but said "there is so much more that needs to be done to make sure evil like this can never prosper again."

"It is vital lessons are learnt and our clients are determined that something positive comes out of the terrible abuse they suffered."

Ms Dux expressed her support for the proposal of a law change made by former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer.

She said: "We are now calling on the Government to introduce legislation whereby those in regulated activities who have direct knowledge of abuse and fail to do the right thing and report it will face prosecution."

Failure to report child abuse 'should be criminal offence'

Failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse should be made a criminal offence, the former director of public prosecutions has said.

Speaking on BBC Panorama, Keir Starmer said it should be "mandatory" to report allegations.

"I think the time has come to change the law and close a gap that's been there for a very long time."

Keir Starmer
Last month Keir Starmer called new child abuse guidelines the biggest shift in attitude in the criminal justice system "for a generation". Credit: PA

"The problem is if you haven't got a central provision requiring people to report, then all you can do is fall back on other provisions that aren't really designed for that purpose and that usually means they run into difficulties.

"What you really need is a clear, direct law that everybody understands."

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