Ana Savage Gunn calls for mandatory DBS checks for all councillors

25 Mar 2024

Ana Savage Gunn called for all councillors to be immediately vetted at West Northamptonshire Council yesterday (21 March 24) following the preliminary recommendations from the Angiolini Enquiry.

The Angiolini Enquiry follows the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer. “PC Couzens hid in plain sight because others failed to shine a light into his darkness when they had a chance,” said Ana Savage Gunn, addressing the Council at The Guildhall, Northampton. “Those in public office should be vetted. Northamptonshire Police have bravely offered to be one of the first forces to be forensically vetted.”

Gunn quoted from a letter written by government minister Simon Hoare to all councils on 18 January this year. Hoare wrote: “I feel strongly that adopting as best practice enhanced DBS checks for all councillors serving on committees with responsibilities for Children’s Services or services for Vulnerable Adults is important to restore public confidence in political representatives.”

“Northamptonshire people have been embarrassed in national media by scandals,” said Gunn. “M.P. Peter Bone, Commissioner Stephen Mold. I ask that all councillors are immediately DBS checked and those making decisions with reference to vulnerable persons have an Enhanced DBS check. Those that stand idly by create the shadows in which abuse thrives.”

“West Northamptonshire Council should take a lead from Northamptonshire Police and shine a spotlight into your shadows. I call on the Leader of the Council to spearhead this initiative as a matter of urgency.”