Whistleblower: County Council's child safeguarding procedures must not be allowed to slip

Whistleblower: County Council's child safeguarding procedures must not be allowed to slip

Whistleblower: County Council's child safeguarding procedures must not be allowed to slip

First published in County News

CHILD safeguarding procedures must not be allowed to slip back ‘into old ways’ says the woman who warned of the inappropriate behaviour of a former County Council youth worker later convicted of child sex offences.

Earlier this month former youth worker Michael ‘Mik’ Smith was convicted of child sex offences which occurred after he was sacked by Pembrokeshire County Council in 2012.

But complaints about his behaviour with young people had been made as far back as 2005.

Sue Thomas attempted to blow the whistle on Smith but despite an investigation finding him guilty of six complaints out of 11 made, he was let off with a verbal warning and allowed to continue working with children.

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales Keith Towler wants the case in 2005 to be reinvestigated to establish whether children were left at risk.

Sue said she and other youth workers made complaints about Smith as it had “reached a point where we had to do something”.

“A number of people came forward with complaints but we were not listened too. They were taking his word over ours but even when found guilty of six complaints at that stage he should have had more than a verbal warning.

“Bryn Parry-Jones’ response was very patronising, I was upset and disappointed and very angry. That was the main feeling throughout because it wasn’t being dealt with. They turned it around on me as having a personal problem with him even though seven or eight other workers put forward complaints,” added Sue.

She also made clear that the chief executive knew she had raised complaints and that she was attempting to make disclosures as a whistle blower.

At that time official whistle blowing procedures were not in place at Pembrokeshire County Council so Smith was notified of who had submitted complaints before any investigation.

Although positive changes have been made Sue is concerned that these were only made when the council’s hand was being forced by outside organisations.

“Smith could have been and should have been stopped a long time ago. I want to know at what level of seniority the decision was made not to do anything about it?

“I don’t feel it’s over yet. I think Bryn Parry-Jones should be answerable but whether he’s going to be is another matter.

“I’m not convinced that the same culture will not start creeping back in again, it has to be kept an eye on until changes are made higher up,” she added.

“There was a culture of bullying and not being listened to by management, the management you hope would listen to you and take you seriously just turned their backs.

“I can’t believe that this boy is the only victim in the time period that we are talking about.”

At full council last week, Council leader Jamie Adams admitted there had been failings in the way Smith's disciplinary proceedings were handled and apologised to all those involved.

He said such failings would not be repeated if such an issue were to happen today.

Comments (12)

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5:02pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Flashbang says...

BPJ, you have been outed as knowing all about the abuse yet you still won't step down. You should be serving time alongside MIk Smith as you are just as culpable.
BPJ, you have been outed as knowing all about the abuse yet you still won't step down. You should be serving time alongside MIk Smith as you are just as culpable. Flashbang
  • Score: 12

5:44pm Thu 24 Jul 14

teifion says...

SLIP?

tightened substantially surely?

The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s !

none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :(
SLIP? tightened substantially surely? The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s ! none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :( teifion
  • Score: 11

6:14pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Rockface says...

Let's face it, since 2005 there has been a cover up of child sex abuse by those in senior authority! I read on BBC's website this:

Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said all the offences, apart from the last, related to the same boy.

He said Smith had worked for Pembrokeshire Youth Service and later Pembrokeshire Youth Action Service until he was dismissed in 2012 after children complained about the ways he touched them.

However according to the leader of the council, no complaints were made whilst this monster was in employment.

I doubt that there are robust safeguarding procedures in place when it comes to complaints of professional abuse. They may have the policies but it's the procedure that needs to be examined!
Let's face it, since 2005 there has been a cover up of child sex abuse by those in senior authority! I read on BBC's website this: Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said all the offences, apart from the last, related to the same boy. He said Smith had worked for Pembrokeshire Youth Service and later Pembrokeshire Youth Action Service until he was dismissed in 2012 after children complained about the ways he touched them. However according to the leader of the council, no complaints were made whilst this monster was in employment. I doubt that there are robust safeguarding procedures in place when it comes to complaints of professional abuse. They may have the policies but it's the procedure that needs to be examined! Rockface
  • Score: 8

10:39am Fri 25 Jul 14

seaveiw says...

teifion wrote:
SLIP?

tightened substantially surely?

The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s !

none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :(
hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: SLIP? tightened substantially surely? The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s ! none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :([/p][/quote]hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure seaveiw
  • Score: 4

10:39am Fri 25 Jul 14

seaveiw says...

teifion wrote:
SLIP?

tightened substantially surely?

The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s !

none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :(
hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: SLIP? tightened substantially surely? The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s ! none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :([/p][/quote]hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure seaveiw
  • Score: 1

10:39am Fri 25 Jul 14

seaveiw says...

teifion wrote:
SLIP?

tightened substantially surely?

The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s !

none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :(
hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: SLIP? tightened substantially surely? The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s ! none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :([/p][/quote]hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure seaveiw
  • Score: 0

10:39am Fri 25 Jul 14

seaveiw says...

teifion wrote:
SLIP?

tightened substantially surely?

The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s !

none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :(
hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: SLIP? tightened substantially surely? The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s ! none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :([/p][/quote]hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure seaveiw
  • Score: 0

10:39am Fri 25 Jul 14

seaveiw says...

teifion wrote:
SLIP?

tightened substantially surely?

The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s !

none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :(
hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: SLIP? tightened substantially surely? The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s ! none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :([/p][/quote]hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure seaveiw
  • Score: 1

10:39am Fri 25 Jul 14

seaveiw says...

teifion wrote:
SLIP?

tightened substantially surely?

The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s !

none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :(
hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: SLIP? tightened substantially surely? The PCC childcare safeguarding procedures seem as tight as the BBCs were in the 1960s/70s ! none so blind as those that don't want to see for whatever reason :([/p][/quote]hi everyone lambeth council on news today similar situation, only a verbal warning given what or who was this council protecting at the time.lots more to come out i am sure seaveiw
  • Score: 1

10:46pm Fri 25 Jul 14

gwddfdwfn says...

Don't assume that the bullying culture has gone, yet.

Concerns continue to be ignored. And the council continues to undermine the systems that protect children from predators.

It can only be a matter of time before the next obscenity or tragedy occurs.

A culture change is needed, and there is no sign that it has happened - or will happen - yet.
Don't assume that the bullying culture has gone, yet. Concerns continue to be ignored. And the council continues to undermine the systems that protect children from predators. It can only be a matter of time before the next obscenity or tragedy occurs. A culture change is needed, and there is no sign that it has happened - or will happen - yet. gwddfdwfn
  • Score: 5

7:17am Sat 26 Jul 14

Tttoommy says...

gwddfdwfn wrote:
Don't assume that the bullying culture has gone, yet.

Concerns continue to be ignored. And the council continues to undermine the systems that protect children from predators.

It can only be a matter of time before the next obscenity or tragedy occurs.

A culture change is needed, and there is no sign that it has happened - or will happen - yet.
Is the council scared of more bad publicity so they pretend there's nothing wrong or are you suggesting there are some predatory council officials ?
[quote][p][bold]gwddfdwfn[/bold] wrote: Don't assume that the bullying culture has gone, yet. Concerns continue to be ignored. And the council continues to undermine the systems that protect children from predators. It can only be a matter of time before the next obscenity or tragedy occurs. A culture change is needed, and there is no sign that it has happened - or will happen - yet.[/p][/quote]Is the council scared of more bad publicity so they pretend there's nothing wrong or are you suggesting there are some predatory council officials ? Tttoommy
  • Score: 3

10:40am Fri 1 Aug 14

Tttoommy says...

It does seem that PCCs HR department had a lot to answer for, why they wanted it kept quiet we can only guess but HONESTLY heads should roll, will we only find out what really went on when the ppl involved have died ?

just like the Jimmy Saville case
It does seem that PCCs HR department had a lot to answer for, why they wanted it kept quiet we can only guess but HONESTLY heads should roll, will we only find out what really went on when the ppl involved have died ? just like the Jimmy Saville case Tttoommy
  • Score: 0

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