BBC news report 11th December 2014

You may have seen tonight’s BBC News reports about safeguarding issues in the Scout Movement. This is our public response to that report:

We apologise to all those who have been abused during their time in Scouting. The safety and support of young people in Scouting is our number one priority. Any abuse of young people is abhorrent and we are deeply sorry for anybody hurt by the actions of abusers. We strive to ensure these abuses do not take place.

The Scout Association is a membership organisation with 550,000 members and operates across the United Kingdom. Just over 100,000 of our Members are adult volunteers. Since Scouting started in 1907 well over ten million young people and adults have been involved in the Movement in the United Kingdom.

It is unclear at this stage if the BBC story is reporting new allegations of abuse, which need to be reported to the police or previously reported crimes where abusers have been convicted and where compensation is now being sought. We have sought clarity from the BBC about this. It is important that those who have been abused report their experiences to the police. We would encourage anyone who has been abused to do so. We take our responsibility in this area very, very seriously.

In appropriate circumstances we want to ensure victims of abuse receive compensation in a timely manner. This is the right thing to do. We have never used gagging orders to silence those who have been abused.

Having read this information and if you wish to report any matters of concern about an individual or individuals in Scouting then please contact the safeguarding team using safeguarding@scouts.org.uk

If you have general enquiries about safeguarding policies of the Scout Movement then please contact the Scout information centre on 0845 3001818

If you are a member of Scouting and are approached by the media on safeguarding matters and asked to comment please do not comment without seeking advice and support from the Media team located at Headquarters. They will provide support.

You can contact them via this link scouts.org.uk/media-centre

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