Historic Sexual Abuse Audit


#87

Or make sure that you don’t lose sleep over not reporting someone who later goes on to harm somebody…


#88

But RAFAC is not an employer. It has been careful to avoid that position re pensions and other employment rights.

You can only do that by assessing the case.

Of course. But the emphasis is to asses whether there is doubt and if so, then refer externally. Not try to make pre-judgements over the possibility of the judgements of others. Who knows it may be that the perpetrator is on a watch list which ATC-HQ are unaware of (or worse still aware of).

Between the trained people at ATC-HQ and squadron there are layers of people who have something to lose and no real idea how to deal (despite ACP guidance). Why is RAFAC a special case when other professional organisation and bodies would refer a suspect for independent scrutiny. If nothing else this can happen during a period of enforced leave and if innocent, the individual can return unblemished (save perhaps for inevitable rumour).


#89

Hang on, it’s late… Have I categorically said an individual case shouldn’t ever be referred externally? I recall saying that another procedural review wouldn’t be necessary at this point and that someone resigning or trying to makes no difference regarding any pending or ongoing investigation… And that a dismissal would be able to affect someone outside the RAFAC bubble…

The employer status thing has been covered and semantics wouldn’t fly, especially considering the additional guidance notes from DBS opens up the definition of who can refer.


#90

This my experience of reporting. Back in the early 1990s I was a Company Commander with the ACF. One of my Sergeants phoned me at work and told me he had been approached by a senior cadet who informed him that a junior cadet (under age) had she had been involved with another instructor outside of ACF activities. I informed the Instructor of the allegations and suspended him with out prejudice. I also informed him that I was legally and morally required to report the matter to the police and social services.
I then informed my County Cadet HQ of the allegations etc. They in turn informed Brigade. I was contacted by Brigade for details.
The police investigated and there was sufficient evidence for it to go to Crown Court. The Instructor was found guilty and sentenced. At no time did I or the ACF take part in the investigation.
Once found guilty the Instructor was discharged from the ACF.


#91

MEMORANDUM
Territorial Army
Section B
Lieutenant GK xxxx (xxxxx) dismissed from Her Majesty’s Service

The following OYcer has forfeited the Cadet Force Medal
xxxxxx xxxx, GK, Lt, ACF


#92

But if he had been found not guilty in court I presume their would have been some sort of internal-investigation?


#93

From my previous post:

2.2.2.4.5. 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 ACF


#94

In my anecdotal experience with the ATC, we do not seem to be resourced or capable of carrying out such an investigation in a timely manner, leaving things to drag on and on. I don’'t know if the ACF are in a better position, but given the balance of permanent staffing I suspect that they might be.

The same issue affects complaints against cadets as it does those against staff: internal investigations (where those are the appropriate measure) may not be performed with any sense of haste, leaving the suspended individual in limbo until we get a move on.


#95

I think incubus makes a fair point there.

But I’m confused. If the matter has been externally investigated and resulted in no case to answer, why would the ACF - or any other in the organisation presume to have extra powers above and beyond. It isn’t a military organisation so surely the rule of double-jeopardy must apply and not to respond immediately in returning the alleged is tantamount to discrimination (at that point).

I get that the organisation has a right to who it lets in etc. But for someone to have been let in and then subject to a process only to be found innocent - by the police - and then suffer colleague suspicion and general harassment from a process that is under-resourced, under-trained and with a bias towards the reputation rather than victim at all costs defeats me. Especially when any secondary findings would have to be passed to the police for action (as the ATC cannot itself act) and then you are left with the question as to why such info might not have been forward to the police as part of its original investigation!

… being the burden of proof in a civil court.

Pass it to the police, and/or safeguarding agencies, co-operate and respect their decision. Carry on running cadets and stop creating more overhead for ATC-HQ.

Quite different if there remains a concern or a shortcoming in evidence, or guilt. But then the police will make a written statement to the offender and the ACO to that effect anyway. If found guilty the offender is out de facto


#96

The Police and CPS only work to the burden of proof required for “beyond all reasonable doubt” which is the CRIMINAL burden of proof. In such circumstances our internal misconduct will work to “on the balance of probabilities” which is the CIVIL burden of proof.

In no way is it outside the rules or the law for any organisation to hold its own investigation and misconduct procedures after a criminal investigation is closed, indeed its to be expected in all walks of life.

It’s not a case of expecting our investigation to turn up new evidence, it’s a case of looking at the evidence and deciding based upon the lower burden of proof whether you did it or not.

If you were to be accused of a crime at work and the Police or CPS were to decide it’s NFA as they don’t have a realistic prospect of conviction you would still expect to face an internal disciplinary procedure this is exactly the same. (We have even had a case in this country where a victim has taken her rapist to civil court who have ruled he did it and awarded compensation based upon the Civil Burden of Proof after the Police and CPS NFA’d the case).


#97

Absolutely not, as was made very clear in the report.

If there is, let’s say, a 75% surety that the accused did it then that’s not beyond reasonable doubt and so won’t be convicted, but is past the balance of probabilities and so can be removed from the organisation - and the DBS will inform any other organisation of the facts if they apply.


#98

I know and understand.

It is just that my experience is that when this precise situation arose, the organisation did not remove … I mean no disrespect but other priorities overrule what should be written and acted upon in stone.

C’mon Warkitten … you are back from your lengthy winter holiday now. Must be time for you to rock up with some supportive to protect your pension :slight_smile:


#99

I know that this is nothing to do with the RAFAC, but Air Cadets in Australia and Canada were established to mirror the ATC, and it seems they experience the same issues.

This is an interesting because it brings bullying and abuse together, and shows how the authorities re-act - surely a mechanism for cover up.

An example where there was no fear of reprisal, but it happened anyway.

I wonder how many subscribe to the belief it cannot happen in the RAFAC?


#100

Let us look at a possible scenario, A 16 year female cadet approaches you and makes a serious complaint against a CFAV. The CFAV is suspended and you inform the police who investigate the matter. The case goes to court and the CFAV admits that he has been seeing the female but denies the charge. He is found not guilty. No crime has been committed and the CFAV is free to resume his life. However, while he has not committed any crime, he has broken the rules of the Cadet Force and Admin Action could be taken.


#101

If she’s 16 it wouldn’t even go to court unless the relationship started before she was 16.


#102

Depends what she’s alleging


#103

If said person gets the boot from the RAFAC form doing something that is not illegal then he can have recourse through the courts. The rules of the organisation have to be based in law.
The corps could probably justify getting rid on the balance of probability of doing something illegal but if the chuck somebody who is 21 because they did something legal with a 18 year old. They would be on a very sticky wicket.


#104

There are various scenarios.
On one hand, a legal relationship between 2 individuals could lead to the sticky wicket you speak of, but with a signed agreement to comply with our rules, and those rules being clear and justifiable, I think we will be OK.
In the Factotum scenario, the allegations surrounding the legal relationship highlighted a breach of club rules.

Also, if there is insufficient evidence to prosecute then there will be no criminal charge, but this is the time when a general awareness of the “dodginess” of an individual could lead to the decision that they are not suitable. This could be based partly on “soft” information held by the police and which can also bring into question the suitability of a person to hold a child-care position. This sort of thing should be happening already at time of appointment (though it is maybe just a Scottish thing at the moment) and could happen at other times too.

In all cases, we need transparent, robust, lawful regulations and we need to ensure that all cases are dealt with professionally. We need every member of the organisation to understand the rules that we aim to apply to them and to agree to this as a condition of their service. That should help to grease the wickets.


#105

And this is the ACF Rule that they would be breaking:
b. Relationships between ACF CFAVs and cadets, except familial relationships, are inappropriate in the ACF. Intimate relationships between CFAVs and cadets, even if permitted in law, are a breach of ACF terms and will result in dismissal from the ACF.


#106

Nothing illegal about standing in front of your squadron and telling the visiting Regional Commandant to but pretty sure you’d be kicked out for that as well