Two officers visited the man in September 2020, following an historical complaint from a woman about alleged inappropriate behaviour when he taught her piano as a child. There was insufficient evidence to charge the man and the woman agreed to Police carrying out a prevention visit to him, in the interests of child protection and preventing harm.“There is considerable value in Police conducting prevention visits in such circumstances. However, the fact that the officers took few contemporaneous notes of the visits, and instead recorded from memory what had been said at various times after the event, was in the Authority's view poor practice”, said Authority Chair, Judge Kenneth Johnston KC.
The Authority recognises the Police Vetting Service’s role in providing risk information to agencies who have a duty of care for the safety of children, and acknowledge that Police adopted a robust process and took reasonable steps to check the information they relied on. However, Judge Johnston KC commented that “certain words were not taken from contemporaneous notes and in our view are unlikely accurately to reflect the nature of the conversation or to meet the substantiation threshold. We recommend the Vetting Service amend the release accordingly.”