Child Protection Policies Working
The Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (COPCA) Has Reported a Drop in the Number of Cases Involving Church Personnel from 100 (2004) to 60 (2005)

By Paul Donovan
The Universe Newsroom [United Kingdom]
July 6, 2006

The publication of the annual report of COPCA showed 60 reports of alleged abuse involving some 75 victims being passed on to the police. Of the 21 incidents that allegedly occurred during 2005, five involved allegations of abuse by priests - two sexual and two physical plus one of possession of child abuse images.

There were 16 other cases involving employees, volunteers and parishioners, 10 of which were allegations of sexual abuse. The remaining 54 victims were abused in preceding years going back to the 1930s.

The figures show the next highest years for abuse as being the 1980s with 16 and the 1970s with 15.

The COPCA report shows the Church stepping up its child protection operations with an increase of 4,000 to 18,000 Criminal Record Bureau checks.

Some nine out of 10 parishes now has a local child protection officer in place. Of the allegations made, 49 came from the Diocese and 11 from the Religious.

Archbishop Vincent Nicols of Birmingham expressed the importance of the work of COPCA in creating the conditions under which the mission of the Church can be carried out.

"This work creates a safe environment and allows the Church to fulfil the mission of Christ," said Archbishop Nicols.

"It really is an expression of faith, it is dealing with the reality of flawed human beings and sin."


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