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                          WESTMINSTER ACPC

                     A Review of the Year 2004/05


A.     Chairman’s Introduction

With the passage of the Children Act, this has been a year in which the ACPC
has begun to prepare for the transition to a Local Safeguarding Children‟s
Board. That task will be a priority in 2005/6, but we have shared
understanding of current Government thinking and its implications for the work
of the ACPC.

The Licensing Act has in some ways been a forerunner of the safeguarding
changes. It gave to the ACPC a somewhat unanticipated role in licensing
applications. We benefited from a workshop session of the Act and its
implications, and with the help of Social Services colleagues were able to
ensure that children‟s interests are considered appropriately in decisions on
applications.

Using the second half of the ACPC meetings to consider policy issues has
been a welcome innovation this year and has given us the opportunity to deal
with these issues more thoughtfully than the press of agenda business
sometimes allows. In addition to Licensing and the role of the Safeguarding
Board, we considered the Catholic Church‟s response to child protection with
the help of the Director of COPCA, the Catholic organisation for the protection
of children and vulnerable adults; child protection issues for black and minority
ethnic groups, and a case review with lessons for several agencies.

Education has been a theme this year. The Bichard Report directed attention
to the issue of safety in schools. The effectiveness of personnel practice and
the need to link data sources were highlighted in a Part 8 inquiry. The Annual
Conference attracted more teachers than ever before and gave opportunities
for a useful exchange of views.

The Committee commissioned a Part 8 Serious Case Review following an
infant death. The parents have been charged with murder and a trial is
awaited. The report highlighted lessons for all agencies involved, including
social work and police practice, the Special Care Baby Unit and Accident and
Emergency at St Mary‟s.

While local government is often accused of constant reorganisation, it seems
to have been institutionalised in the Metropolitan Police. The move of the
Child Protection Team (now the Child Abuse Investigation Team) to
Kensington has had an adverse impact on day to day liaison. The Committee
has kept the issue under review and colleagues are working hard to minimise
the difficulties.




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The Committee is drawn from different agencies who work effectively
together. In that task it is wonderfully supported by Sally Trench, Head of
Commissioning, Child Protection and Quality, and her staff to whom we
extend our thanks and appreciation.


B.    Children and Families Division (Children and Community Services)

Child Protection Unit

     1. The Unit‟s main functions relate to servicing the CP Conference system
        and the CP Register. Our performance in carrying out these functions
        has remained strong, despite an ongoing turnover of staff in the
        Conference Organiser posts. This has been challenging for the acting
        Senior CP Administrator and the permanent administrative staff, as
        temporary Conference Organisers require training and extra support in
        several systems. There has also been turnover in the pool of
        Conference Chairs, and new Chairs have been recruited.

        The volume of activity of the Unit is expressed in the data section of
        this annual report.

     2. The rest of the Unit has remained stable, with two experienced CP
        Advisers, and the Head of Commissioning, CP and Quality. In
        addition to chairing CP Conferences, we are involved in chairing
        complex strategy meetings, and offering consultation and advice to
        operational teams (and to inter-agency colleagues). We are also
        involved in induction sessions, and a variety of training within the
        division and outside – including statutory partners and the independent
        and voluntary sector organisations.

     3. The quality assurance role of the Unit is maintained in a variety of
        ways:


              Monitoring practice via the Chairs Checklist for each Conference
              Reviews of individual cases, as needed
              Regular input into the handling of CP cases in front-line services
               (Assessment and Duty Team, St. Mary‟s Hospital)
              Quarterly meeting by HoC, CP and Quality, with CP leads in
               partner agencies.
              Annual user feedback survey (March/April 2005). Please see
               below for results.

CP Issues this year

     4. In response to the Toni-Ann Byfield report (Birmingham ACPC), the
        Division reviewed its compliance with procedures in making Regulation
        38 placements. Improvements and training were put in place.



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     5. In response to Bichard‟s recommendations 12 and 13, an inter- agency
        group was formed to look at our practice in responding to under-age
        sex, and to young women at risk of sexual exploitation.

     6. The service was asked to assist the Metropolitan Police (Operation
        Paladin Child) in tracing unaccompanied minors, mainly from Africa,
        entering the country at Heathrow Airport for a period of 3 months. This
        was in order to check whether they were at the address given and were
        appropriately cared for.

     7. The Division was the subject of an Individual Agency Review (IAR), as
        part of the Part 8 Serious Case Review following the death of a 3-
        months old baby girl (October 2004). The case had a particularly
        distressing impact on the teams which had been involved. The IAR
        was carried out by the Head of Commissioning, who was considerably
        helped by the open and thoughtful approach of all those who were
        interviewed for the review. This has enabled some positive lessons to
        be learned from this very tragic story, largely relating to how we
        respond to domestic violence, and how we carry out assessments.

     8. The annual user feedback survey – for those who attended CP
        Conferences in March/April 2005 – was completed by 120
        professionals and 19 parents. The responses were overwhelmingly
        positive, especially about the conduct of Conferences. A typical
        comment was “very effectively chaired”. It was encouraging to note
        that 17 out of 19 parents felt well prepared for the Conference, and that
        all those attending Initial Conferences had received the written material
        which they were entitled to receive.
        On a different note, we also were told that we need to improve in
        sending invitations out on time.

     9. CP activity has fluctuated during the year, falling back during the final
        quarter, so that the number on the CP Register at year end was lower
        than usual. The thresholds for S47s, Initial Conferences and
        Registration continue to be monitored and analysed by the CPU, the
        CP Chairs group, the Division‟s management team and the ACPC
        itself.

C.      Police – Central Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT)
     1. The Child Abuse Investigation Command is one of the most complex
        commands in the Metropolitan Police Service. With 470 police officers
        and 140 police staff, we are the largest investigative command in the
        Specialist Crime Directorate. We investigate over 15,000 crimes
        committed annually on the most vulnerable victims in our society by the
        very people who should be caring most for them.
     2. Conceived just over three years ago, after the tragic death of Victoria
        Climbié, our command offers challenging but highly rewarding
        opportunities across a wide range of disciplines, from homicide to pro-


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         activity, intelligence to training. We operate in a structured partnership
         environment within very diverse communities.
     3. Whilst safeguarding children is our priority, our primary role is to
         investigate crimes against children. It is our job to gather evidence to
         ensure child abusers are brought to justice and to prevent further
         offending in the future.
     4. Child abuse investigation is not for the faint-hearted and we place
         enormous responsibility on individual detectives. With that
         responsibility comes great satisfaction: the knowledge that you know
         you made a difference.
     5. D/Chief Supt. Spindler decided to change the name of SCD5 when our
        headquarters departments moved to Cobalt Square in July. ACPO
        have agreed to the request to become the Child Abuse Investigation
        Command, as this is a more accurate description of the work we
        undertake overall.

         The rationale for this change is based on improving our image, clearly
         defining our role in the safeguarding process and reflecting the work of
         the whole command.
         Operational staff still have the freedom to use a range of phrases to
         introduce themselves to the public continuing to use 'Child Protection'
         or even 'Specialist Crime' depending on the circumstances.
         We intend to push forward with corporate signage and a logo to better
         market our command and clearly define what is already the world's
         largest (and best) team of child abuse investigators.
     6. Further changes for CAITs from April include taking overall
        responsibility for all sudden unexplained deaths in infancy. Locally,
        there has been pressure on our team resources, but on a positive note,
        we are finally getting access to the second floor at Whitlock House.
         Our pro-active operational work on offenders across our three
         Boroughs continues to increase.



D.      Health

     1. The Child Protection Team is now well established and complete
        following the recruitment of a Named GP for Child Protection in April
        2004. CP accountability has been further strengthened by identifying
        leads in each PCT service that provides services to children and
        families as well as in GP practices.

      2. In early 2005, St Mary‟s NHS Trust relocated the Children‟s services to
         Woodfield Road, to Praed Street in order to improve service delivery.
         Meanwhile, the Designated Doctor for Child Protection has set up a


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        specialist paediatric clinic at The Medical Centre, Woodfield Road,
        which deals with children in need referrals.

     3. During 2004/2005 the CP Team has been involved in developing,
        disseminating and implementing a raft of new policies and procedures.
        A CP intranet page has been developed where practitioners can readily
        access this documentation. Finally the Social Services Inter-agency
        Referral Form has been piloted, introduced and audited across the
        whole of the PCT.

     4. In April 2005 the first WPCT Training and Education CP Training
        Strategy was agreed. A comprehensive in-house training programme
        has now been rolled out to all healthcare practitioners who work with
        children, young people and families. This training is also delivered to
        three private providers in Westminster and at St. Mary‟s NHS Trust.

     5. Mechanisms for monitoring CP arrangements in place across the
        health economy, including those in place within the PCT, have also
        been developed. The CP services provided by GP practices, health
        visitors and school nurses within the PCT have been audited against
        the Healthcare Commission self assessment tool for clinicians. Staff at
        St. Mary‟s NHS Trust and the Central and North West London Mental
        Health Trust have also completed the audit.


E.      Education (Principal Education Welfare Officer)

     1. Since joining Westminster in September 2004, the Principal Education
        Welfare Officer (Lead Officer for CP) has focussed on the new
        responsibilities for Education and schools by the Education act
        2002, the Children Act 2004 and the new guidance arising from
        Every Child Matters and the Bichard Report.

        Important changes in the legislation now place a statutory obligation
        on Governing bodies to ensure that their policies, procedures and
        practice must promote the wellbeing and safeguarding of all pupils. In
        future, inspections will be carried our jointly by OfSTED/ CSCI, and
        from September 2005 will scrutinise the policies and assess how well
        a school is actively promoting safeguarding.

     2. From the Education perspective, two other documents published in
        2004 have been extremely important in helping Head Teachers,
        Governors and designated teachers understand their new roles and
        responsibilities – “What To Do If You Think a Child Is Being Abused”
        and “Safeguarding Children in Education”. Further to support these
        new roles, multi agency CP training has been arranged through the
        ACPC, training for schools staff and Governors from the Education
        Lead Officer for CP.




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 3.   A number of common issues and concerns have been raised by school
      staff that would indicate an ongoing need for advice, support, and
      training on particular areas.

     Recording information related to concerns
     Speaking to parents and carers
     At what stage to refer
     Accountability
     Risk Assessment
     Sexualised behaviour of children and adolescents
     Rights of young people
     Understanding the limits of their role
     Understanding the role of other agencies
     Interagency work and information sharing
     Interagency communication

 4.   Continuing support and advice has been made available by the DfES
      Investigation, Referral Support Coordinator hosted by Westminster.
      The IRS Coordinators were set four years ago, to work nationally and
      across all London Boroughs, with the brief to improve systems and
      procedures and to prescribe time limits in dealing with allegations
      against staff in schools.

      New procedures were developed and adopted by LEAs. As a result of
      the data collected a further consultation took place in February 2005
      with new recommendations expected in August.

      The brief of the Coordinators has extended to the wider arena of CP
      and safeguarding as well as safe recruitment. The IRSC is
      responsible for a cluster Local Authorities, including Southwark,
      Lambeth Wandsworth, Bromley, Croydon and Lewisham. The Group
      meets regularly to share information, experiences and to hear about
      new developments. An excellent IRSC website linked to the Teacher
      Net Website has been developed and offers excellent resources for
      schools and Lead Officers on all aspects of CP, safeguarding and safe
      recruitment.

 5.   There have been a number of cases throughout the year relating to
      allegations against staff, that have indicated a further need to ensure
      that the relevant procedures are understood and followed, that there is
      clarity of responsibility and that the important multi -agency aspects of
      the work are enhanced and improved.


F. Westminster Domestic Violence Forum (WDVF)

  1. WDVF is pleased to be represented on and contributing to the
     Westminster ACPC.




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       As 90% of children living with domestic violence are in the same or the
       next room (FIGURES) when the abuse is taking place (British Crime
       Survey 1992), WDVF has developed a domestic violence prevention
       programme for schools in the City to assist in preventing it in the future.

     2. Almost 80 partner agencies contribute by working with families where
        children are living with domestic violence. A directory of services and
        other useful guidance around domestic violence is available on the
        forum's website: www.westminsterdomesticviolenceforum.org.uk


G.     Training Sub-Group

 1. The Children Act sets out new duties which include the requirement that
    all agencies “have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the
    welfare of children”. In order to help agencies carry out this responsibility
    Westminster‟s ACPC has commissioned a new safeguarding training
    course which is known as “level A”. This training is for people who are in
    contact with children and young people and with their parents/carers in
    their work settings. These people require the skills and knowledge
    necessary to manage the interface between themselves and statutory
    agencies (if not employed in one), and where appropriate the child and
    family. They therefore need to understand the nature of worries about
    children‟s welfare and the systems in place to safeguard children from
    harm and promote their welfare. The training encompasses the key
    elements of What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused
    (Department of Health et al, 2003a), including how to make a referral to
    social services or the police and how to challenge the decisions taken by
    these agencies if their worries about a child persist.

       We have run three of the new level A courses since March this year, and
       they have proved popular and have been well evaluated. There has been
       a good response from the local inter-faith community, and staff from a
       number of different religious organisations have worked together on the
       course. We are currently targeting library and leisure centre staff to
       attend the level A training.

 2. The Introduction to the Recognition of Children in Need of Protection
    course is now known as level B and is for staff who work directly with
    children. We ran a two day course in September for Head teachers and
    designated staff, and those who were unable to attend this have been
    attending the continuing inter-agency courses. Again this course has
    been well evaluated. One Head Teacher wrote:
    “This is the best course I have been on in fifteen years, and I have been
    on some good courses.”
    We will continue to provide a high standard of training for all inter-agency
    staff.

      3. The ACPC Annual Conference was held on 23rd November, again at
       the Royal Institute of British Architects building in central London. The


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     topic was “The Role of Education in Safeguarding Children”, and the day
     was attended by 180 inter-agency staff, including excellent
     representation from schools. The programme included speakers from
     the DfES Children‟s Safeguarding Unit, from Westminster Education
     Welfare, Westminster Domestic Violence Forum, our local Children with
     Disabilities service, and the National Youth Theatre, who have
     developed a “personal safety soap opera” for use in schools.


H. Practice and Standards Sub-Committee

  1. Membership of the group has grown, to include the Named Nurse for
    adult mental health, and a manager from NCH.

  2. The group‟s principal role remains one of quality audit in relation to
     cases where inter-agency work requires scrutiny. Several cases have
     been reviewed during the year, with the outcomes and required actions
     taken to the full ACPC for discussion.

  3. The group has also implemented on the ACPC‟s planned outreach to
    BME communities. This began before the end of the year with a session
    on families and CP issues with Arabic-speaking parents (Home Start).
    This programme continues into 2005/06, and will be reported on in next
    year‟s annual report.

  4. The group continues to identify and discuss barriers to good practice –
     and what to do about these. We have discussed issues including
     referrals (and the Inter-Agency Referral form), information-sharing (e.g.,
     Police forms 78), communication, shadowing professional colleagues as
     part of induction programmes. The Police CAIT have been able to keep
     us informed of their staffing difficulties.



I. Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel

 1. The Panel continues to meet monthly with provision for emergency
     meetings if necessary. Its remit is to manage registered sex offenders
     and potentially dangerous offenders living in the Westminster area.
      Current membership is: Metropolitan Police (the Jigsaw Team, Safer
      Streets Unit and CAIT), Probation Services, WCC representatives and
      the Mental Health Trust. WCC representation includes individuals from
      Housing, YOT, Child Protection and Joint Homelessness Teams.

      MAPPP continues to operate on the basis of a protocol between
      agencies. All agencies jointly contribute to the drawing up of risk
      management plans and accept joint responsibility for the outcomes.
      Information is confidential to the MAPPP, and disclosure to third parties
      has to be agreed by MAPPP.



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      There have been no significant changes since the last annual report.


      Figures as of June 2005-06-16
      There have been 90 registered sex offenders:
           very high/high      25
           medium              23
           low                 12

      Thirty known sex offenders who are MAPPP‟s responsibility are
      currently in prison.

      There were ten offenders arrested and charged with „registration‟
      offences but not all of these were Westminster residents. Some were
      from other L.A‟s and arrested while „passing though‟ Central London.

      There was one extraordinary MAPPP meeting relating to a high profile
      offender. There was particular media interest in this offender‟s release
      from prison which required a consistent and co-operative response
      from Police, Probation and the L.A.

      There are approximately 10 violent / sexually dangerous individuals
      who are discussed regularly. The majority of these are men living in
      hostel accommodation or are No Fixed Abode. Mental health issues
      are predominant in this group.


J. Risk of Sexual Exploitation Forum


1.    The Forum has continued to meet over the last year, but has
      experienced a decline in the numbers attending. A number of the
      agencies represented have undergone a period of reorganisation and
      consequently changes in personnel. This in turn has affected the
      attendance at the Forum meetings as well as the focus and direction of
      the work.

2.    Towards the end of the year agencies were asked to re-evaluate the
      work of the Forum and make some critical decisions about its future
      and focus of its work. There was an overwhelming consensus that the
      Forum should continue to meet regularly for a number of reasons.
      Members felt that it provided a unique opportunity for formal and
      informal networking for those working in this field. It also enables
      agencies to keep up-to-date with work trends, research findings and
      information about changes in the scale and nature of the problem in the
      Westminster area. Members were also of the opinion that while the
      Forum had achieved many key tasks, there remained a number of
      outstanding issues, which have yet to be fully addressed. In particular:



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              awareness raising and training for key agencies such as schools, foster
              carers and residential staff. Additionally at the end of the year, the
              Forum was made aware that Police Clubs Vice Unit were in the
              process of establishing a team solely aimed at dealing with child sexual
              exploitation. This team indicated their wish to work closely with the
              Forum and attend meetings on a regular basis.

              The Forum, with the help of the Met Police will focus its future work on:
                   training and awareness raising
                   identifying young people at risk via internet and mobile phone
                    technology


K.            Data on CP activities and outcomes

     1. Section 47 enquiries, Initial Conferences and registrations

              The pattern of CP activity in the past year has shown a number of
              changes. However, we have some difficulty in presenting an exact
              statistical account of this, as the Social Services database changed
              near the end of the year from SSID to SWIFT, rendering exact
              comparisons difficult. We have had to rely on the new database, as
              well as paper systems in the CP Unit, to produce the data for this
              report.
              The number of children on the CPR at 31st March 2005 was 85, two
              fewer than the previous year. The number of Initial Conferences held
              during the year fell from 92 to 75. The number of s47 enquiries
              during the year fell from 409 to 331. This was in the context of a
              consistent flow of referrals coming into the C&F Division year on
              year.


                         Children on the register at 31st March

              140

              120

              100
     Number




              80

              60

              40

              20

               0
                    1999-00   2000-01   2001-02   2002-03   2003-04   2004-05




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         The next chart illustrates fairly stable numbers on the CPR until the last
         quarter of the year, when CP activity (S47s and requests for Initial
         Conferences) fell considerably.

         The most recent comparable data – for children on the CPR per 10,000
         children – are for end March 2004. At that point, Westminster showed a
         rate of 27 per 10,000 children; two obvious comparator authorities are
         Kensington and Chelsea (14) and Hammersmith and Fulham (54).
         These data illustrate a phenomenon which is currently being addressed
         by the London CP Committee – i.e., significant variation around London
         boroughs regarding thresholds and practice in relation to the London CP
         Procedures.


                    Numbers of children on the CPR 2004/05

           120

           100

            80
Number




            60

            40

            20
             0
                   4    4    4    4    4    4     4    0 4 -0 4 -0 5 - 05 - 05
               r- 0 ay-0 un-0 ul-0 g- 0 p- 0 ct- 0 o v-      c    n  b     ar
             Ap M         J    J    Au Se     O     N     De   J a Fe    M




2.         CPR by age and gender

            At 31st March 2005, the split between girls and boys (girls 46, boys
          39) was similar to last year‟s picture. However, the age group with the
          largest disparity of girls over boys is now the 1-4 year olds, whereas
          last year this was true for the 10-15 year group.




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                        CPR by Age and Gender 2004/05

         20

         15
Number




         10

         5

         0
                 Under 1           1-4          5-9                10-15       16+

                                            Female      Male




 3.           Ethnic profile

          The only noteworthy change this year is the proportionate growth in
          numbers of white children. The “unknown” category may be an
          outcome of the transfer of data from SSID to SWIFT.

                        % of CPR by ethnicity 2004/05


         30

         25

         20
 %




         15

         10

          5

          0
                Asian      Black    Mixed    White         Other    Unknow n




4.            Categories of abuse

              Emotional Abuse 32%
              Neglect         44%
              Physical Abuse  24%
              Sexual Abuse     0%

           This picture represents a shift back towards the general pattern for
          London, where Neglect registration tends to be higher than Emotional


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           abuse. Westminster continues to be atypical in the use of the
           Sexual Abuse category.

     5.    Looked-after children

           Looked-after children have increased from 25% on the CPR last year,
           to 27% this year.

     6.    CP Activity and Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) Indicators

           Section 1 above indicates that CP activity fell this year: there were 94
           registrations and 96 de-registrations.


                            Registered and De-registered during the year

                      160
                      140
                      120
             Number




                      100
                       80
                       60
                       40
                       20
                        0
                             1999-00   2000-01    2001-02   2002-03   2003-04   2004-05

                                            Registrations   De-Registration


           In relation to the PAF indicator for duration on the CPR, 13 of the
           children de-registered during the year had been on the CPR for longer
           than 2 years (13.5%). Our target is to keep this rate under 10% of all
           de-registrations.

           In relation to the PAF indicator for re-registrations, 17 children
           registered this year had previously been on the CPR. Our performance
           against this indicator was therefore 18%; our target is to keep this rate
           between 10 and 15% of all registrations.


L.        Finance: End of Year Figures

          Contributions 2004/05:

           Health (PCT)                          £6,781
           Metropolitan Police                    5,000
           Probation Service                      1,130
           CAFCASS                                  541
           Education                             6,180



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     Social Services             15,632

     Total                       £35,264

     Expenditure

     Salaries                      £12,827
     Independent Chair               7,305
     Part 8 Reviewer                 3,500
     Annual Conference and
     Other training                  5,380
     Catering                           50

     Total                         £29,062

     Carried over to 05/06         £6,202

M.   ACPC membership

     Membership this year has remained very stable, apart from the
     rejoining, and then the departure, of Rory Worthington from CAFCASS.


     Terry Bamford
     Independent Chairman
     C/o Child Protection Unit


     Michael O‟Connor
     Director, Children and Families Social Services
     Westminster Children and Community Services


     Sally Trench
     Head of Commissioning, CP and Quality
     Westminster C&CS


     Trevor Moores
     Head of Commissioning, Assessment and Family Support
     Westminster C&CS


     Geoff Skinner
     Head of Commissioning, Looked-after Children and Children with
     Disabilities


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Westminster CCS


Ros King
Principal Commissioning Officer
Development and Training
Westminster C&CS


Dr. Margaret Guy
Director of Public Health
Westminster PCT


Dr. Andrea Goddard
Consultant Community Paediatrician (Designated Doctor)


Sara Sunderland
Child Protection Officer (Designated Nurse)


Pauline Bastick
Head of Social Inclusion
Westminster Education


Erica James
Head Teacher
George Eliot Infants School


Graeme Gwyn
Detective Inspector, Central London CAIT


Mike Bland
Head of Service Delivery
Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea
London Probation Area – Central


Major Peter Coull (Retired)
Army Welfare


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Vicky Grosser
Co-ordinator, Westminster Domestic Violence Forum


Dr. Eia Asen
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Marlborough Family Service


Eamon Brennan
Manager, Westminster Youth Offending Team


Gregory Roberts
Supporting People and Homelessness Strategy Manager
Westminster Housing




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