Social services ‘should not run database of abusers’, directors urge

Social services should not be responsible for operating a
database that holds information about alleged abusers, the
president of the Association of Directors of Social Services has
urged, writes Sally Gillen.

Andrew Cozens told the Bichard Inquiry into how Ian Huntley got
a job as a school caretaker that it would be a “major
departure” for departments, which currently record details on
service users only.

His evidence comes after a senior manager at North East
Lincolnshire Council, which dealt with a series of allegations of
underage sex involving Huntley but failed to link them, said there
had been no way of keeping of a record on him.

Cozens said the key issue was about how the systems within the
police and social services inter-related, and it would be
“inappropriate” for councils to hold details on alleged

Cozens added that a national protocol was needed on when to
refer a case to the police that would “sharpen up”

He also believed that a national protocol was needed on when to
share information to ensure that the database outlined in the
Children Bill, which will allow a professional to flag concerns
about a child, would work effectively.

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