Learning from Experience Database - Serious Case Reviews

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Bichard Public Inquiry

On 17 December 2003, Ian Huntley was convicted of the murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. In the days following Huntley’s conviction, it became clear that he had been known to the authorities over a period of years. In fact, he had come to the attention of Humberside Police in relation to allegations of eight separate sexual offences from 1995 to 1999 (and had been investigated in yet another). This information had not emerged during the vetting check, carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary at the time of Huntley’s appointment to Soham Village College late in 2001. A public inquiry was undertaken into child protection procedures, particularly the effectiveness of relevant intelligence-based record keeping, vetting practices and information sharing between agencies.

Professional learning:

  • This Inquiry led to the introduction of the POVA scheme and the vetting and barring provisions introduced through the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.