Recruiters are urged to flag up the duty of spotting violence early on

Recruiters have been urged to raise awareness among workers on their books about a proposed duty that would see teachers and NHS workers England and Wales held accountable for failing to spot violent crime among young people.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid launched a consultation over whether there is a “public health duty” to report concerns over children at risk.

The duty would ensure professionals in health, education, police, social services, housing and the voluntary sector work together and are held accountable for preventing and tackling serious violence.

Melanie Stancliffe, partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell, told Recruiter best practice would be for agencies to ensure workers on their books comply with this new obligation.

"The government is trying to find new ways to tackle the rising knife crimes across the country and to hold more people accountable for failing to spot violent crime among young people.

"Public sector workers such as teachers and NHS staff already have safeguarding duties towards children and teenagers and the government is proposing to extent their obligations to address the current knife crime concerns.

"Recruiters whose employees and members of staff may be affected by the proposed changes to safeguarding duties should ensure that they alert their workers of any changes and that they train staff adequately to allow them to comply with their legal obligations. 

"Training may need to be put in place by recruiters and the end clients to allow teachers and NHS staff to spot the warning signs that a young person could be in danger and comply with their legal obligations."

Meanwhile Jahad Rahman, partner at Rahman Lowe Solicitors, told Recruiter he expects the duty to be similar to one already in force relating to identifying young people at risk of radicalisation.

“You’ve got things like the Prevent duty as well. It’s not dissimilar to that in terms of teachers and NHS workers being aware of identifying any issues of extremism and radicalisation, so if someone is at risk just reporting that early on.”

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