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Churches encouraged to do more safeguarding in light of Huckle abuse case

The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) has been speaking to Premier after British missionary Richard Huckle was convicted of 71 child sex offences.

He's been labelled Britain's worse paedophile and accused of masquerading as a devout Christian to gain access to children.

The case has led to questions about how churches better protect children.

While all those who work with children and young people in churches need to carry out government checks called Disclosure and Barring Service, CCPAS has told Premier that's not enough.

Executive Director for Safeguarding Justin Humphreys said: "There can be an over reliance on some of the mechanisms that are available such as DBS checks, such that people believe that once they've the check of that nature - all is well.

"In the case of Richard Huckle, he had not been convicted and it was unlikely that anything would come up on his DBS check."

He wants those working in churches to further monitor those who volunteer.

"There are a range of measures that can be operated by churches to try and identify individuals who may pose a risk of harm," he said.

"Safer recruitment processes - opportunities to explore motivations and attitudes and to look at behaviours."

He's also calling on churches that send teams overseas to be more accountable.

He said: "Where churches are getting more and more active overseas [it's important] we don't fall into the trap of not undertaking appropriate checks, making sure we know the people we are sending and operating good safe practices while out there."

Richard Huckle is facing multiple life sentences at the Old Bailey.

He was due for sentencing on Friday but reports suggest it will now take place on Monday.

Justin Humphreys speaking to Premier's Antony Bushfield:

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