Children as young as 8 self-harming during the pandemic

  • We now know that the pandemic has had a deep impact on children, who are arriving in A&E in greater numbers and at younger ages after self-harming or taking overdoses, according to Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary
  • From surveys and interviews carried out for the Born in Bradford study, Dr Wright and his team discovered that children are anxious, isolated and bored, and claim to have only witnessed the tip of the iceberg
  • Children in a mental health crisis used to be brought to A&E about twice a week. Since the summer it’s been more like once or twice a day
  • Some as young as 8 have cut themselves, taken overdoses, or tried to asphyxiate themselves
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Police investigation leads to mass arrest of county lines drug dealers

  • A two-year covert police operation to target drug dealing across Northamptonshire has secured sentences totalling 221 years
  • Operation Poetry began at the start of 2019 with the aim of infiltrating so-called ‘county lines’ gangs, which use a network of dealers to move drugs across the country
  • Now concluded, the operation saw £1.3 million worth of drugs taken off the streets with a total of 72 people convicted during the operation
  • Detective Chief Inspector Adam Pendlebury, from Northamptonshire Police, said their investigation took them well outside the county
  • For the full story, select here
  • If you would like to learn more sign up for our training course: ‘An Introduction to County Lines’ on the 4th of March, 2021 here

Catholic order allows accused child abuser to live by school because of ‘locked gate’

  • A man accused of sexually abusing boys was allowed to live by school grounds because of a “locked gate” – with the knowledge of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, council and police but not the headteacher or governors
  • The ‘safeguarding plan’ was only scrapped when it emerged two fellow brothers had been allowing the unnamed man to access school grounds anyway
  • The two men, then deputy headteacher, Brother Peter Tracey, and school chaplain, Brother James Hayes, have since departed the school
  • The man has never been convicted of a crime but had been charged with indecent assault against boys at a school some years ago but avoided conviction on a technicality
  • For the full story, select here
  • Ensure effective safeguarding practices at your institution or organisation with our training course: Safeguarding Policy, Audit & Self Assessment on the 3rd of Feb. Register here

Special school staff to vaccine priority

  • Some staff working in special schools in Northern Ireland will be prioritised for vaccination against Covid-19
  • The move comes after an agreement between the Departments of Health and Education
  • The proposal from Education Minister Peter Weir had previously been discussed by the executive
  • BBC News NI understands that staff involved in giving direct care to children with the most complex needs in special schools will be prioritised
  • However, it is not yet clear on what date they will begin being vaccinated
  • For the full story, select here