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Taking a Statement from a Minor


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I am sorry if this is in the wrong location and please move if necessary. Could some please explain if it is legal to take a statement from a child, concerning a bullying case, when no other adult is present with the child other than a so called child protection officer, and then get the said child who is under 18 to sign the document in front of that person? The main element of the concern is that there is no witness to the way in which the questioning was undertaken and if the statement is a true reflection of the conversation with the child - taking into account the adult who took the statement was convicted of fraud in 2009 and narrowly escaped a jail sentence there is concern that the statement may not be a true reflection of what was said. I am also concerned that potentially a child has been made to sign a document by the adult undertaking the questioning without any present to offer support or advice. Any help would be appreciated

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A statement taken by a child protection officer who is known to falsify statements and has a history of fraud. The statement was taken in a changing room behind closed doors and with no other person present. The child is under 16s years of age.

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You're not giving enough information to answer you properly. What do you mean by 'Child Protection Officer'? Who do they work for? Is this the police? Some other official body? Is this a school? In your first post you say "no other adult is present with the child other than a so called child protection officer" which suggests two adults were present. Who was the other?

 

What age precisely? There's a big difference between a child being 5 and being 15.

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Sorry please excuse. The CPO works for a sports organisation and is signed up to the sports governing body, however they are never quick as responding to anything !!. The CPO and the child were the only two people in the room and no one else. The child I think is either 14 or 15

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The CPO isnt registered with anyone but only takes the role as a voluntary position within the club. No DBS is held with the governing body either. Should i raise this with the local council?

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They have to be accompanies by a responsible adult. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts

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Is this cpo an official role or an individual within a private club that listed as some sort of complaints officer?

What is the issue? What sort of statement was taken? Is the child in trouble or accusing someone else? Has the child complained about the way the statement has been taken or are you complaining?

How does the fact the individual has been convicted of fraud relate to taking a Childs statement?

I know in alot of organisations, a single adult is used to initially interview a child so as to avoid intimidating or scaring the child. And there is not always multiple adults available to carry out the initial interview.

But again, too much of a lack of Info to comment more accurately.

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Age of legal responsibility is 11 Y/O.

 

If the CPO took a statement from them with no other witnesses present, then the statement will never hold any water in any 'legal' process.

CPO's like to think they are the Law, when in actual fact they know zero.

 

I would be making a direct complaint to the manager of the club, and also to this CPO's manager with a view of escalating the matter further.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Which law says that? This a private sports club.

 

What does that have to do with anything?

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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What does that have to do with anything?

 

Isn't it obvious? You said "They have to be accompanies by a responsible adult. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts". I'm asking which law says they have to be?

 

I don't believe there is any such law, but I'm happy to enlightened.

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[ATTACH]56526[/ATTACH]Common sense....but I'm pretty sure if I could be bothered I could eek out the exact law.

 

If there is question of wrongdoing, then a CPO would need a witness to corroborate what the child said.

A signature won't do that. And I would be concerned about the methods this CPO used in gaining this useless 'statement' and signature, certainly sounds like the actions of unqualified and untrained officious member of the public IMO.

 

Lewis, you really do need to make a formal complaint to the club in question, and let them know you're not at all happy with the conduct of their staff, and you will escalate it beyond them if needs be.

 

So is this a youth club? Or similar?

Yes they are supposed to all have one of these Club CPO's, but it is clear this one, has no real knowledge of what her job entails by the sounds of it. and in any case she certainly doesn't sound as though she has the required ''core skills''.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Back to lewis's actual question - " Could some please explain if it is legal to take a statement from a child, concerning a bullying case, when no other adult is present with the child other than a so called child protection officer" - as no-one can identify any relevant law that says otherwise I advise lewis to assume that what has been done is legal and no law requires requires a 'responsible adult' to be present (and neither the document attached by Bazooka nor the statutory guidance referred to in it make any such recommendation either). A sports club CPO isn't carrying out a criminal investigation or taking a statement for use in criminal proceeedings. And if it's "common sense" why don't schools do it (children can be, and regularly are, expelled from school without any independent responsible adult ever being present)?

 

That doesn't mean you can't complain to the club that you believe there should have been an independent adult present. JBut do not base your complaint on the CPO acting illegally. That would just let the club brush your complaint aside by telling you it was legal. And I strongly recommend that you do not muddy the waters of your complaint by referring to the CPO's previous conviction for fraud. (How do you know that by the way?).

 

Grumpy asks some good questions which it would be helpful to have more information on.

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Where are the parents, or the legal guardian of the child in all of this, and who are you?

 

Sam

All of these are on behalf of a friend.. Cabot - [There's no CCA!]

CapQuest - [There's no CCA!]

Barclays - Zinc, [There's no CCA!]

Robinson Way - Written off!

NatWest - Written off!

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I doubt there is any specific law which has been broken. There isn't a law which stops adults from speaking to children or from taking a note of what has been discussed. We are only talking about a sports club here; we are not talking about a statement given to a police officer or anything like that.

 

Of course, if the statement will be used for anything, the accuracy of the statement can be challenged. I do not think you would have a legal basis for disregarding the statement entirely.

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Sorry for not getting back sooner. The complaint is one of bullying against a member of staff. So far nothing has been proved to the contrary and nothing is stacking up to support the claim, however the reputational damage to the person the complaint is about could be quite damaging. The CPO that took the statement has publically announced to others on numerous occasions the personal dislike for the person and has expressed her wishes on getting the person removed from the club. There has been accusations already that false claims have been made and other parents in the club have been contacted to generate stories about the person.

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Go to the police then. If this individual os, as you say, making up false stories and libelous accusations, them its the police that need to be called in to investigate. Especially where children are concerns.

That said, have you seen all the relevant proof. Proof of the fraud conviction.

Proof the individual is on a mission to slander the other person?

Are you connected in any way to this or just someone looking in from the outside?

The child issue is something the authorities will look into if they investigate. The child would not have needed to be interviewed by more than one adult though in this scenario. The child is not being accused of anything and his, probably unsigned, statement would be given to the authorities if the club deem it necessary to investigate.

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Thanks for the quick response. A number of other parents have started to get together as they do not like what is being said and what is happening. The case can be found on google and on local papers websites. I am trying to offer support as an impartial person to a very upset individual

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Sorry for not getting back sooner. The complaint is one of bullying against a member of staff. .

 

Now I'm confused. Presumably, from the rest of your posts, it isn't the child who was accused of bullying a member of staff so why was the child interviewed? Who are stories being made up about, and who is the CPO trying to get rid of? The child or another adult?

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Thanks for the quick response. A number of other parents have started to get together as they do not like what is being said and what is happening. The case can be found on google and on local papers websites. I am trying to offer support as an impartial person to a very upset individual

 

Perhaps you could provide a link to one of these local newspaper sites :)

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