Historic Sexual Abuse Audit


Have you actually read the report? One of the points that was highlighted is that just because the Police/CPS decide that No Further Action can be taken from a criminal standpoint doesn’t mean that they can just walk back into the organisation (as appears to have happened in the past), they still need an internal investigation and their retention needs to be based on the civil burden of proof, so if on the balance of probabilities they did it they get thrown out.

Its not a matter of thinking we are special its a matter of making sure that those who are not suitable to work with young people are stopped from doing so. By formally dismissing them we ensure that they can’t come back by re-joining somewhere else.


I am surprised that the ACO believe they should investigate complaints of a serious nature. I have copied a portion of ACF Regulations that outline the procedure to be followed:

. If the complaint relates to an allegation of a criminal offence, emergency services must be contacted immediately. Adults within the ACF are not to investigate any concerns or allegations as this may hinder any subsequent police investigations. Social services and Child Protection Units within police forces are highly trained to investigate child protection concerns and they must be allowed to do their job. Any Cadets or adults implicated in allegations are to be suspended without prejudice pending investigations. Investigations are to be conducted by the appropriate authorities1. If no further action is taken by the appropriate authorities after an investigation has been completed, the Cadet or adult whom the complaint names is to remain suspended pending an investigation by the ACF into the balance of probability of the complaint’s grounding and whether it warrants administrative action or dismissal from the ACF2. All records and reports are to be written factually and objectively. Personal opinions, assumptions and beliefs of the person making the record or report are to be omitted. CFAVs and cadets (and families of cadets) have a right to access information held about them by organisations. All records are to be kept on Westminster in the appropriate area. Only adults with the appropriate level of access are to be permitted access to sensitive records. Paper copies must be destroyed after the information is transferred onto the system, except in cases of child protection records during the timeframe of Justice Goddard’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.


So why does te ACO believe it’s different, surely the same rules apply to all cadet organisations overseen by the MoD


I agree, why are we different?


The MoD has child protection policies already ask why the ACO deviates from their guidelines.


Well, considering an allegation would instigate a suspension without prejudice, you don’t accept a resignation during suspension and would hope you make sure to get the keys back!

And if they don’t come back for any purpose deemed necessary to handle to their case and/or don’t interact with the process then their on their own and don’t get a defence (speaking generally - where the investigation could just be internal or following an nfa from the police/cps - and not just in a criminal case).

I can’t say “NO” enough - did you even read the report? Just because no charges are brought doesn’t mean that person automatically gets welcomed back with open arms - that’s exactly something we were criticised for.

If investigated and dismissed, depending on the reason it should be reported to DBS. So yeah, there damn well is a point to all of this.

The way you debate the report findings makes it sound like you might have let one or two get away - I’m not saying you have, but just that your attitudes are exactly those that would have been held by the individuals named (redacted) and criticised in the report and the case files.


I don’t think we should be debating policies on a public forum especially when it come and bite us in the future. The above could be used by journalists


On the contrary, I think our policies should be made public. Hiding them away makes the organisation look guilty of attempting a cover-up.


Totally agree with you, a suspicion of cover up leads to just more digging. To use the old cliche ‘if you have nothing to hide then there is nothing to fear’. Or has there been cover ups in the past and present.


Remember it ws Andrew castle I think who by journalistic endevour blew open the Rotherham which led to the Jay and Casey Reports into the failings of that council. Now we have police forces seriously investigating such cases. Whilst this extreme the subject of procedures, actions and review of such has to be open and trasparent.



Me too. 'orrible things lurk in dark corners and we should be confident enough to turn on the light.

We know that there are many differing characters in the ACO, 'twas ever thus. But policies kept in the dark and not debated allow potential miscreants to hide. If CAC and her team are allowed such dark recesses in which to control their own little empire, then they must be encouraged to improve their standards to match those of the rest of the planet!


Further … in the light of the current arrests by West Yorkshire police, the ACO would do well to mark the words of the Detective leading the investigation -

“Tackling child abuse is not something that any one agency can do in isolation; we work closely with local authorities, other organisations and charities to support victims, bring the perpetrators to justice and make our communities safer."

(ref: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/news-appeals/detectives-have-arrested-55-men-connection-non-recent-child-sex-abuse-kirklees)


Except who are we to publicly comment or debate on what may or may not be happening above us regarding a topic such as this?

I don’t disagree that policy should be transparent, but the vast majority of CFAV would immediately defer to a higher and theoretically more knowledgeable power for guidance (as they should). The failings of the past have been sufficiently highlighted, and actions taken to resolve them have occurred and are ongoing. Anyone with questions should raise them within their CoC.

The report is out there, but we don’t speak for HQAC on these matters. To me, this is no different a situation to the airing of the Panorama special. It would be easy to say the wrong thing or be taken out of context… There’s already been a good couple of potential soundbites above regarding attitudes and known cases!


Don’t forget.
Joe blogs is now just sat back reading and paraphrasing for his daily mirror exclusive.


If you exclude external agencies, you can effectively keep the lid on things, and it only goes wrong when one of the miscreants excels. The ACO, considering it is a civilian youth organisation, appears to rely heavily on the rank structure, which of course conflicts directly with the assertion for staff to report concerns without fear of reprisal; there is a tendency for the rank and file to keep their heads down.

The only time a concern is taken seriously, is when it is made by a parent, because it is then outside of the loop, and it becomes a damage limitation exercise.


This is the ACF take on reporting: Every adult member of the ACF has a duty to safeguard by reporting any suspicions or evidence of abuse or harm concerning a child, whether it is believed to have taken place inside or outside of Cadet activities. Every adult involved with training Cadets should feel confident in reporting concerns, through the chain of command or externally, and should never be coerced into withholding safeguarding information. The DSL can obtain further advice from SO2 Safeguarding RC HQ Cadets Branch.


If you don’t think we should be publicly commenting on Air Cadet related matters, why register for a forum where people do just that?

I get that the subject is emotive, but if the system could be improved (and the FOI request suggests that that is so), then I would say that a public debate could be healthy.

Nudging and shushing each other everytime an outsider brings up the subject just makes us look like we have something to hide.


Which is the reason why we should be shushing, it’s not our place to debate with an outsider. Let the MCO do this. We may say something wrong which could then land us in the poop


Because nobody cares about a faceless being moaning about the latest IT failure, or how the Ivory towers overlords have put another hurdle in the way of training, or any of that rubbish that affects just us.

This is a public interest matter that goes beyond our station. We don’t write the policy, we don’t know the ins and outs of HQAC’s response to the report and their procedure planning, and we don’t have the facts or knowledge to comment on cases.

All we can legitimately do, is nod along and say “yep, sounds right” (which has little value since the report is the authoritative voice on the matter) or add fuel to the fire - potentially needlessly.


We may as well shut down this website. After all, all we’re doing is discussing Air Cadet related matters in public. What about the Gliding Pause?that is as big a scandal, though much less emotive, and press interest was welcomed.