Home / Insight / Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse: Amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill

Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse: Amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill


Following the publication of the final report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in October 2022, and the Government responding with a call to evidence and consultation process, the Government has confirmed a mandatory reporting duty will be introduced through amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill. Amendments to the bill are to be made at its Commons report stage, a date for which has not yet been set.

Lauranne Nolan, Associate and Safeguarding Lead in the Keoghs specialist abuse team, has been following the updates on this issue and considers the outcome further below.

By introducing mandatory reporting as a legal requirement, the Government is delivering on a key recommendation from IICSA. It has also confirmed that:

  • There will be a legal requirement for anyone in regulated activity relating to children in England to make a report if they know a child is being sexually abused.
  • Those who fail to report abuse they are aware of face being barred from working with young people.
  • Anybody who actively protects child sexual abusers such as intentionally blocking others from reporting or covering up the crime could be imprisoned for seven years.

The announcement continues to build on the UK’s existing laws to manage sex offenders – laws which are already considered to be among the toughest in the world. In addition, the Government is investing in a range of work to strengthen capacity and capability to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation. This includes:

  • £6.5m for the Tackling Organised Exploitation programme (TOEX), which brings together local, regional and national data to ensure police can effectively uncover and prosecute exploitation.
  • £1.9m for the new Child Sexual Exploitation Police Taskforce, which is providing practical, expert, on the ground support for forces with a particular focus on group-based child sexual exploitation, including grooming gangs.


The introduction of mandatory reporting is a big step in the right direction to drive cultural change, improve safeguarding and increase accountability. However, there are concerns that there is potential for the new duty to be misused through false or malicious reporting and that it may cause public services to be overburdened. In addition, the impact of the duty will require investment in training requirements, recruitment, wider supporting structures and effective tracking and review.

The Criminal Justice Bill finished its Commons committee stage on 30 January 2024. The new measures will be introduced as amendments at its Commons report stage. A date for this has not yet been set and the Government has not, at the time of writing, tabled its proposed amendments relating to the duty.

Lauranne Nolan

Lauranne Nolan


Stay informed with Keoghs


Our Expertise


Claims Technology Solutions

Disrupting claims management with innovation & technology


The service you deliver is integral to the success of your business. With the right technology, we can help you to heighten your customer experience, improve underwriting performance, and streamline processes.