Following the decision of the Licensing Committee regarding Mr Milton Harris, which was published here on Wednesday 31 January, BHA Director of Integrity & Regulatory Operations, Tim Naylor, issued the following statement:
Racing is a sport that works hard to provide a safe and welcoming space for all and the ruling of the Licensing Committee in this case sends a clear message that those in positions of authority in our industry must act in a way that upholds these values. We are grateful to the Committee for their time in considering this matter and also to those who came forward to share their experiences of Mr Harris and gave evidence at the hearing.
Some of the details in the Licensing Committee’s decision make for extremely uncomfortable reading. Mr Harris’s behaviour over a prolonged period of time fell a long way short of what we expect of a licensed person and, as the Committee found, would cause damage to racing’s reputation if allowed to continue without repercussion. We are, therefore, pleased with the Panel’s finding that Mr Harris is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
As is clear from the decision, then BHA’s concerns ranged across a number of very serious issues. One of these concerns related to safeguarding. The BHA takes its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and, as demonstrated by its bringing this case before the licensing committee, will do everything within its powers to ensure that those working in our sport do so in an environment befitting what should rightly be expected by them and, in the case of young people, their parents or guardians upon taking a job in the sport. The BHA recently published an updated Safeguarding and Human Welfare Strategy, which built on our existing policies and seeks to protect and promote the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in the sport.
As always, we would encourage anybody who feels they have been subjected to or witnessed inappropriate behaviour in our sport to contact us. The BHA’s Code of Conduct clearly establishes the standards that everyone involved in racing is expected to uphold and we will never turn a blind eye to concerns raised about conduct which may fall below these standards.