The below Parliamentary question was asked by Sarah Champion on 2016-02-02.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to paragraph 14 of the document Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation, published by the Government in March 2015, when her Department plans to consider an extension of the offence of wilful neglect.
As the honourable Member for Rotherham will recall, during the passage of the Serious Crime Bill in the last session of Parliament, the previous Government made a commitment to undertake a public consultation on the options for reporting child abuse and to lay a report before Parliament on the outcome of the consultation within 18 months of Royal Assent of the Serious Crime Act (i.e. by September 2016). This commitment was extended in March 2015, under the Government’s Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Report, to consult on options for imposing sanctions for deliberate or reckless failures to take appropriate action in relation to child abuse or neglect, where it is a professional responsibility to do so.
The Government will launch its consultation exercise in Spring 2016, to run for twelve weeks and will then consider carefully the need for any further statutory measures in the light of responses. This will enable the Government to lay proposals before Parliament by September 2016, as it has committed to do.