Serious Failures to Protect Individuals from Abuse Essay
I will identify two reports on serious failures to protect individuals from abuse. I will write an account that describes the unsafe practices used. Ian Huntley On the 4th August 2002 holly wells and Jessica Chapman went to the shop to buy some sweets. The girls passed the home of Ian Huntley who called them into the house and where he then sexually assaulted and murdered them. Ian Huntley was the caretaker at the girl’s school at the time. This is under serious questioning as to how he got this job with all his previous history of allegations.
I feel that holly and Jessica were let down by a number of professionals that could have done more at grass roots level that could have prevented the terrible outcome for the girls. A series of allegations that sohom killer Ian Huntley was having sex with under aged girls, should have rung significant warning bells for social workers, police and teachers years ago. There had been 7 allegations and possibly a further 4 cases of vulnerable young woman involved in Ian Huntley that were failed by those who should have been helping to protect them.
In retrospect Ian Huntley’s history of serial sexual exploitation should have been flagged up but the connections were not made. Police intelligence systems failed to see some of the connections that could have been made to identify a pattern in Ian Huntley’s behaviour were missed. Ian Huntley applied for caretakers job as Ian Nixon although his application form stated that he was once known as Ian Huntley. It is believed that the police did not check under the name of Ian Huntley on the police computer.
If they had then they would have discovered a burglary charge left on file. Social services dealing with the double murder displayed short- comings and inconsistencies in how agencies shared information about his conduct. A report into social services showed, that at the time the local social services department was short staffed and under extreme pressure. At this time each police force worked independently and only gave other forces information that was requested, as a result of this Ian Huntley was able to avoid detection by moving areas.
As a result of the enquiry into this case in 2003 the sexual offenders act 2003 meant that all sex offenders had to register with the police and this information is available to all police forces. The police and social services have learnt from their mistakes so that young people are better protected today. In December 2003 Ian Huntley was convicted of two counts of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Winterbourne View On Monday 30th May 2011 a documentary was aired.
The documentary was undercover filming from a residential home and exposed abuse on an extreme level. I feel that watching this documentary was a truly disturbing experience, The safeguarding act was brought in 2006 to protect vulnerable adults but unfortunately in this instance, certainly from a human rights perspective I witnessed acts that were degrading and inhuman. Some of the key issues shown in the documentary were numerous incidents were physical restraints was being applied for what can only be described as minor reason.
The variety of physical restraints involved were staggering, these include the use of painful wristlocks, staff applying pressure to the neck area and bending fingers back. Service users appeared to be victims of physical and verbal assaults from staff. There were overt uses of punishment (physical assault, throwing water on people) and with more subtly, the denial of preferred objects to individuals. Mangers appeared to collude with these practices. Recording of the incidents appeared to be fabricated. There is a slippery slope of abuse.
Abuse does not occur in a vacuum. People are often witnesses to very subtle controlling measures by their colleagues and over time they tend to accept what is going on. Abuse does not usually occur overnight there is a slippery slope in terms of bad practice that leads to more and more restrictions and abuse. I feel there are many places throughout the uk that offer good quality support for people with disabilities. We must not blame the whole care system for the abuse we witnessed at Winterbourne View.
Although it is hard to believe the bad practice we observed at winterbourne view was an isolated event, I believe it must be made extremely hard for individuals such as these to operate in the care setting, but to do these things need to change. Simple steps need to be taken to make real differences. In my opinion these changes should include, better quality environments for people who challenge let us stop clustering distressed people together. To understand that many challenging behaviours are linked to the stress of individuals and lack of purpose in their lives.
We need to make staff more reflective about their own contribution to challenging behaviours. Training in behaviour management needs to challenge the attitudes and beliefs of staff. Training should contain clear messages of what is not acceptable. More investigation into complaints. I would support increases in unannounced visits to service users. A zero tolerance approach needs to be taken to abusive practice. With all of the above put into practice I believe the chance of a repeat of what we witnessed in the documentary happening would be considerably reduced.