Welsh antisocial behaviour database ‘will not breach client confidentiality’

Social workers in Wales will not breach client confidentiality
if they sign up to a database to record antisocial behaviour.

Responding to warnings from the British Association of Social
Workers Wales, Paul Pan, Welsh assembly project lead for Project
Dragon, said there were no immediate plans to include identifying
details of individuals.

It will mainly record details of incidents, although eyewitness
accounts can be included, Pan added.

BASW Wales had warned that if information provided by social
workers was recorded on the database it would breach client
confidentiality, while individuals and communities could be
targeted by agencies.

Although participation will be voluntary, Pan said he expected
most of the local authorities in the Gwent and south Wales regions,
which will be able to use the database from April, to take

They can decide what non-personal information is put onto it and
whether they want it to be shared with the police, fire service and
housing associations.

He added: “It will allow agencies to see patterns emerge and
deliver a collective response.”

Meanwhile, crime reduction charities in Wales and Scotland have
hit back at criticism that local authorities in the two countries
are not issuing enough antisocial behaviour orders.

Kevin Wong, assistant director at Nacro Wales, said it was wrong
to use the number of Asbos issued as a measure of success.

Wales has issued 144 Asbos compared with 3,538 in England,
leading to calls by police chiefs for Wales to “catch up”.

Wong said: “Asbos are one option in a package of measure to
combat antisocial behaviour. You can be equally successful by using
preventative measures.”

In Scotland, no councils have issued Asbos to children aged
12-15 since the powers were introduced in October, leading to
criticism from MSPs. However, head of service development Keith
Simpson at charity Sacro, welcomed the news.

“We’ve consistently opposed the use of Asbos for under-16s
because they can be dealt with through the hearing system or
community mediation schemes,” he added.


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