§ Mr. Alfred Morris
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he proposes to co-ordinate inter-departmental action in regard to recently reported cases of people posing as health visitors or social workers when visiting families with young children; of how many such cases he is aware; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
I understand from the chief constable of South Yorkshire that the recent inter-force conference about the subject of bogus social workers and health visitors revealed 60 unexplained visits throughout England and Wales. In 24 of these access was gained to the house and in 14 young children were touched.
Police forces across England and Wales are taking co-ordinated action to bring the offenders to justice, consulting local authority social services departments where necessary. They have warned parents throughout the country to take great care about allowing callers access to their children and to contact the police at once if their suspicions are roused. They have advised all those seeking legitimate access to identify themselves. Their advice has been wholly endorsed by a statement issued on 15 May by the Association of Directors of Social Services and the NSPCC.