Past Cases Review 2
The Church of England has completed a review of more than 75,000 files, some dating back to the 1940s, with the publication today of its national Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) report. The purpose of PCR2 was to identify both good practice and institutional failings in relation to how allegations of abuse have been handled, assess any identified risks and respond to these where appropriate, and to provide recommendations to the Church that will lead to improvements in its safeguarding work.
All dioceses were committed to completing this review. In this diocese, PCR2 has been an important step in ensuring that all known cases of concern about the behaviour of clergy and church officers towards children and vulnerable adults have been dealt with appropriately.
Foreword from the Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel
The Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) was launched by the Church of England in 2019, as part of the Church’s commitment to improving the way in which we respond to safeguarding allegations and concerns. The aim of this national initiative has been to identify and review all information held by churches about alleged abuse of children or vulnerable adults and to ensure that all allegations have been handled appropriately.
The Diocese of St Albans has been fully committed to this process and, following an extensive study of records and reports, the independent reviewers have submitted a detailed report setting out their findings and recommendations. This Executive Summary explains the way in which the review has been carried out and highlights the main conclusions.
The report concludes that the review has met its objectives and that, as far as practicable, all allegations of abuse of children or adults recorded or identified have been dealt with appropriately. Those cases which required further consideration have been resolved satisfactorily.
The reviewers have commended the diocesan safeguarding team and noted evidence of excellent working practices in the diocese. At the same time, they consider that there are some areas for improvement at local and national level and have made a number of recommendations, particularly on resources and record-keeping.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel and senior clergy have carefully considered the report and action has been taken to address the recommendations. We recognise that we have a continuing responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of children and vulnerable adults in our churches and the report provides an important resource for the diocese as we strive to maintain and develop best practice.
Finally we wish to express our gratitude to the independent reviewers for their detailed analysis and report and to all those who have contributed to the review for their assistance and support.
Independent Chair, Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel
The Diocese of St Albans PCR2 Report is available in two documents: an overview of the key findings and recommendations, and a fuller executive summary, which explains more about the methodology behind the review and sets out the Diocese’s strategy for supporting the needs of survivors of abuse. Both of these documents can be downloaded below.