Safeguarding Matters

Posted by Nick Colton on 05/10/2021
Robert Pugh: former instructor at an outdoor activity centre

Safeguarding is an important aspect of the BMC's work. Recently there have been a number of high profile convictions of men who have worked in the climbing, walking, mountaineering sector for sexual offences against children.

This reminds us, if we didn’t already know, that our world is a microcosm of the wider world and, in terms of safeguarding issues, contains the same mix of people as the general population – and probably in the same sorts of proportions. So, we need to be vigilant in order to safeguard young people within our sector.

It is perhaps timely to remind ourselves of what safeguarding and good practice are.

The BMC has a Child Safeguarding policy, and now an Adult Safeguarding policy as well.  Both of these can be found here: on a quick guide to safeguarding on the BMC website. There is also other important information there, such as the BMC’s Whistleblowing policy and contact details if you ever have concerns or wish to report something as well as organisations that you can contact for confidential advice or support. The BMC child safeguarding policy makes it clear that the welfare of young people is paramount in all that we do and contains extensive good practice guidance when working with young people.

The BMC also DBS checks staff and volunteers who work unsupervised with young people or adults at risk and offers guidance on good practice when working with such groups or individuals within the relevant policy.  The BMC runs a range of training workshop to support staff and volunteers and works with the NSPCC / CPSU (Child Protection in Sport Unit) to meet the Standards for safeguarding and protecting children in sport.

VOLUNTEERS: We're looking for Safeguarding volunteers to join our committee

One very high-profile case is that of Robert Pugh, the Head of Centre at an outdoor activity centre in the Brecon Beacons during the 1980s and 1990s. He was convicted of indecently assaulting three boys. The case generated much publicity nationwide as can be seen in this BBC news item.

Nikki Anton Pike, 28, an instructor at a climbing wall, raped a young female climber after grooming her, and a parent, from the age of 12 for a "sustained period" of time. He was jailed for 18 years. See BBC report here

Harry Squire, a climbing instructor from North Wales sexually assaulted a toddler and took indecent pictures of him. Again, there is information in the news about that case here

If you have concerns or would like to report something, Helen Murphy is the BMC's Safegaurding Manager Safeguarding Officer. If you need any advice, guidance or support email helen.murphy@thebmc.co.uk.

If you wish to report something that concerns you please contact safeguarding@thebmc.co.uk

Check out the BMC's quick guide to Safeguarding 


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