The Child Abuse Inquiry opened in Nottingham this week and will focus for the next three weeks on the historic abuse of children in the Nottinghamshire area, writes John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw.
I am representing approximately 30 people from Bassetlaw at the inquiry and will be working to ensure that their voices and horrific experiences are heard.
I was first approached more than three years ago by a constituent who had suffered abuse whilst they were in care.
For the next three weeks, I am the only MP representing people at the inquiry and will be giving evidence throughout the hearing.
I will be sitting among lawyers and barristers as they speak up for their clients.
Since 2010 there have been more than 900 allegations made to Notting-hamshire Police about historic child sex abuse.
I will want to know why the police and social services did not work as one team and why staff who had been accused of abuse were reinstated on appeal.
I want to know what’s going to be done to support those people who have lost their childhood, this has had a horrendous effect on their lives.
I will also be asking how our children are going to be protected in the future.
We need to ensure that the right systems are in place to prevent this from ever happening again.
The inquiry will be moving to London for the next two weeks.
On another subject I have also been concerned about the protection of children who are being coached sports by third party organis-ations. In some cases, it has comes to light that coaches were not required to have a DBS check before coaching children.
This is dangerous, puts teenage coaches at risk and needs to be addressed immediately. Children in schools should be coached only by people who have had the relevant checks that all teachers and those working with children are required to have.
The DBS system of checking needs strength-ening, not weakening, and I will be raising this issue further to ensure that children are always kept as safe as possible.