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PROGRESS REPORT ON BICHARD RECOMMENDATIONS PUBLISHED

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Good progress is being made in implementing recommendations from the Bichard inquiry into the Soham murders, the ho...
Good progress is being made in implementing recommendations from the Bichard inquiry into the Soham murders, the home secretary said today as the Home Office published its third progress report.

A total of 21 of the 31 recommendations have been substantially delivered and work is underway on those which remain outstanding.

The IMPACT programme, responsible for fundamental improvements in police information management, successfully introduced the IMPACT Nominal Index (INI) in December to facilitate the sharing of information across forces. IMPACT has also bought into force a statutory Code of Practice and operational guidance for police information management.

The recent publication of a revised version of 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' provides new guidance on when Social Services and other agencies should inform the police about suspected offences against children.

The introduction of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill in February was also an important milestone in the government's intensive programme to develop a central vetting and barring scheme covering all those wishing to work with children or vulnerable adults.

Home secretary John Reid said:

'We are making good progress implementing the recommendations, with the majority achieved and others nearing completion. We remain fully committed to implementing the whole programme.

'Safeguarding our children and vulnerable adults is an absolute priority and partnership between the government, police, education and other public services is vital so that together we can minimise the risk of harm to those most at risk.'

NOTES

1. The Bichard Inquiry was commissioned in December 2003 by the home secretary in an oral parliamentary statement on 18 December.

2. The Bichard Inquiry Report and its recommendations were published on 22 June 2004, by Sir Michael. The home secretary welcomed the publication of Sir Michael's report and accepted all of its 31 recommendations in his oral statement to Parliament later the same day.

3. Sir Michael reconvened his Inquiry in December 2004 to assess progress, as set out in the Government's first progress report (January 2005). He reported in March 2005 and broadly endorsed the implementation programme in his final report.

4. The government's third progress report can be found here.

The home secretary's first and second progress reports, as well as other reference materials, are also available at this address.

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