Historic Sexual Abuse Audit


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.


But the victims in the “gliding scandal” are teenagers and it’s doesnt really affect their mental wellbeing. This is sexual abuse on children which can scar young people for life!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t debate a policy but what worth is it doing on a public forum when it may come back to bite you. Why don’t you argue with the policy makers and actually try to make a change rather than rant on here


And if they are not listening, just look at the report.


I think it’s worth pointing out that the scandal that I was referring to is the fact that The RAF, and therefore the RAFAC risked young people’s lives by flying them in un-airworthy aircraft. Not that some people have missed out experiencing GICs or whatnot. And that the people at risk in both cases are the same people.

As you rightly point out, failure to adhere to child protection policies, or adhering to flawed policies, can have lifelong ramifications. So it’s vital that these policies are fit for purpose, and that everyone is following the correct procedures. It’s because this issue is so important that I believe we should not shy away from discussion of it.

One of the benefits of a discussion board like this is that we can share our collective experiences. Discussion of policies like this can highlight common issues, and flag up problems that would be otherwise be ignored if we existed in isolation.


Quite right … but our ‘robust procedures’ do loudly espoused by our leadership are consistently varied and ignored when it suites them. Right to the top. Like sheep in a field worried that the farmer will have them next for Sunday lunch but if they don’t blat, they will be OK. This is my repeated experience and actually what the report is already saying.

How can people at squadron level have any confidence. The previous CAC was as effective as a brick and the current one little more than a block of wood avoiding the flames until pension kicks in.


(Sorry for typos)


Well we’ve found out that Teflon follows the “resign now, investigate never” school of thought, so I suppose that’s one hole discovered. But the policy at the coal face is simple - talk to your WExO, talk to your CPO, ring the police if risk of harm is imminent, maybe ring the police anyway depending on scenario and advice from the WExO or CPO. Everything above and after that is addressed in the report.

Much like an independent review with access to far more information could, if only we had one of those…