The Bishops Conference of Scotland has today released details of its Annual Safeguarding Audit. The audit contains details of practices being undertaken by the Church in order to create a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults in a church setting.
It also contains details of allegations, and in 2013 there were a total of 15 allegations made in Scotland. Seven allegations were against priests, three against volunteers, two against parishioners and one against 'other' e.g. a relative or partner. Six of these allegations date from the 1940's - 1980's and three date from 2010 - 2013. The date of origin of the other six are unknown.
Full details can be found in the report and a link is provided, below.
Here is the content of the email sent out today by the Bishops Conference of Scotland:
'In accordance with best practice and in line with a commitment given in 2013, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have today, 16 December 2014 published the Diocesan Safeguarding Audit for 2013.
The results of this Audit give a statistical breakdown of reported safeguarding allegations during that year. The statistics show how many allegations were reported in 2013, the category of the incident, the category of the reported perpetrator and the outcome of any investigation.
These statistics have been compiled by the Safeguarding Offices in each of Scotland’s 8 dioceses, signed off by each Diocesan Bishop and collated by the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service. The Safeguarding Service has also collated and published an annual statistical return on behalf of all religious congregations and orders working in Scotland.
A spokesman for the Church said:
“The Catholic Church in Scotland seeks to safeguard the welfare of people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity with the Church and its organisations. The publication of this audit is an example of the commitment to transparency and openness made previously by Scotland’s Catholic Bishops.”
“The external “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures” being conducted by Dr. Andrew McLellan will report in 2015 and the Statistical Review of all Historic Cases of Abuse from 1947-2005 will be published at that time also.”
The spokesman added;
“The Catholic Church would support an evidence based inquiry into abuse in care in Scotland.”'
Here is a summary of the 2013 Audit:
PVG Checks (previously Disclosures) have been carried out on 488 Clergy and 4,225 volunteers.
Training: There are currently over 6,000 volunteers trained in Safeguarding and 170 Clergy
There were 15 allegations made in 2013 (of which 6 were historical – 1980’s or earlier)
The allegations were made against 7 members of the clergy and 6 members of the laity (this represents 13 individuals as some had more than 1 allegation against them)
10 of the allegations made were of sexual abuse in some form, 3 also involved physical abuse. 2 were of physical abuse and 1 of emotional abuse, and 2 were allegations of verbal abuse.
All allegations of abuse are reported to the Statutory Authorities. 10 cases were reported to the Police. The 5 not reported related to shouting at a group of children, poor boundaries and 3 related to an abuse of power. None were regarded as illegal actions but did require an active response from the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor and Bishop.
As of November 2014 there have been no prosecutions associated with 2013 allegations. Two of the alleged perpetrators are deceased. 3 have been removed from ministry. 2 cases are currently with the Procurator Fiscal. 1 is no longer a volunteer. 2 outcomes are unknown to the Church.
An Appendix to the Report will also contain statistics for autonomous religious orders operating in Scotland. Although not under the jurisdiction of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, these returns have been collated and provided for completeness.
There are 668 Priests and 57 Permanent Deacons in Scotland (2013 census)
The full audit can be downloaded at: http://www.bcos.org.uk/Portals/0/Safeguarding%20Audit%202013.pdf