Charity improves safeguarding procedures after regulator intervenes

The Charity Commission has closed its investigation into safeguarding concerns at a charity set up to support the British Pakistani Christian community.

The case into British Pakistani Christians Limited (BPCA) was opened two years ago after issues were raised about a safeguarding incident linked to the charity’s overseas work.

The regulator found failures in the trustees’ response to the incident and its safeguarding policies and procedures.

After since finding improvements around safeguarding policies, training of trustees and staff as well as its overseas operations the Commission has now closed the case.

The regulator has also been examining wider concerns include “a lack of robust financial controls in relation to its overseas operations and confusion amongst the trustees about the aims and activities of the charity”.

An official warning was issued in February 2021 relating to failures at the charity.

However, outstanding concerns remain around the charity’s handling of conflicts of interest, said the regulator.

Further formal advice has been issued to address outstanding concerns

“Everyone who comes into contact with a charity has a right to feel safe,” said the regulator’s assistant director of casework Tracy Howarth.

“Trustees must make safeguarding a governance priority, ensuring that the charity protects people from harm, and responds promptly and effectively when things do go wrong.

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case at BPCA. We found the charity’s trustees lacked sufficient oversight and expertise to protect people who came into contact with the charity.

“I am pleased that our firm action in this case has resulted in clear improvements in the charity’s approach to safeguarding. We now expect the trustees to address outstanding issues and ensure the charity’s governance improves into the future.”

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