The number of charities investigated by the Charity Commission over concerns about the treatment of vulnerable beneficiaries more than doubled between 2009/10 and 2010/11, figures released to parliament show.
They were in an answer to a written parliamentary question from Fiona Mactaggart – the Labour MP for Slough and a former charities minister – about the number of charities in England and Wales that have been investigated over allegations of child sexual abuse.
The reply from Nick Allaway, head of business services at the commission, on behalf of Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, said the regulator did not hold such information but it did publish figures annually on the number of investigations it carried out.
The response showed that in 2010/11 the commission carried out 57 investigations "where the issues concerned vulnerable beneficiaries", compared with 25 investigations in 2009/10. In both years three of those investigations were statutory inquiries.
The regulator carried out 38 such investigations in 2008/9, of which four were statutory inquiries, Allaway said.
Allaway added that the term ‘vulnerable beneficiary’ included vulnerable adults, the elderly and children; the complaints investigated could relate to forms of mistreatment other than sexual abuse.
The statement does not say what, if any, action was taken against any of the charities the commission investigated.
Allaway pointed out that the commission was not responsible for safeguarding matters and would pass any suspected criminal activity to the police.