The charity is a church. I gave evidence to this internal review. I was not told that I would not be able to relay the findings of the review if I considered they needed further action to be taken. It has emerged that the Review revealed an issue about child protection and advice given by a police officer. The church review criticised the police for the advice given but the church will not now give the review to the police to enable the police to read that criticism in full for themselves. I regard that criticism as spelling out a serious failing. The church is now seeking to let the matter be soft-pedalled by the church official who wrote the review. That contact with the police will treat the issue as having been simply 'a learning point'. I strongly disagree with this position. I wish to know, please, if I have a defence in law - say, relating to 'public interest' - if I my self inform the police that they have been criticised?
Thank you for your question. The police should be informed of the serious criticism of their advice by the Review so that they can either defend their advice (and its consequences) or improve their procedures.
The advice of the police related to whether a convicted sex offender - now out of prison - should be allowed to work in a church cafe. The advice gave the all-clear - under certain conditions which are not known to the writer of the review. Yet that advice has been criticised in the review - and it has led to a child being in the presence of the offender.
Unless the police are able to read this review they are not fully able either to accept or reject the criticism.
Yes, thank you for that candour.
I do, however, feel that the church has behaved with moral cowardice in failing to let the police know that the church considers their conduct to have essentially led to a situation where a child was placed in danger - when the church is meant to be a safe place following proper procedures.
Is there not a defence of 'public interest' if the police were told by an individual (if necessary, anonymously) that they had been seriously criticised in this review? - in such a way as to slide away from the church's own responsibilities?