NCSC report shows drop in number of abuse allegations
The number of allegations of abuse received by the Church in England and Wales fell last year according to the findings of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission’s annual report.
The NCSC report shows that 41 allegations of abuse relating to 43 alleged abusers and 52 victims were made in 2009.
Of the 52 victims, 18 were alleged to have been abused in the current year, compared to 21 of the 64 victims in 2008 who reported they were abused that year.
The NCSC report shows that of the 43 alleged abusers, 26 were clergy or religious, seven volunteers, seven parishioners and three were employees.
The types of abuse alleged included sexual, physical and emotional abuse, as well as two allegations of child-abusive images – one relating to a priest and the other to a volunteer.
The allegations made in 2009 have so far resulted in one police caution or warning and one jail sentence, according to the report.
An investigation is under way by the statutory authorities and still in progress in 17 cases with no further action by the authorities in relation to 24 allegations.
The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission reported 50 allegations of abuse against children in 2008. Of 51 alleged abusers, 30 were clergy or religious, seven volunteers, six parishioners and five employees.
The NCSC was set up following a recommendation in a review of the Church’s progress in implementing child protection procedures headed by Baroness Julia Cumberlege.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales underwent sweeping reforms to its child protection procedures following intense criticism about the way it handled abuse scandals in the past.
The Nolan report in 2001, ordered by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, made a series of recommendations aimed at stamping out paedophile activity in the Church.
Between 1995 and 1999, 21 of the 5,600 Catholic priests in England and Wales were convicted of offences against children.
The Catholic bishops in England and Wales earlier this year offered a full apology and said there were “no excuses” for the child abuse scandals.