Police official criticises plans for children’s database

    A senior policeman has criticised plans to create a
    children’s database that can be used by all agencies as a
    “mythical” concept, writes Sally
    Gillen.

    Terence Grange, lead on child protection at the Association of
    Chief Police Officers, told MPs that the database for social
    services, education and health professionals to use was too
    ambitious.

    Giving evidence to the Department for Education and Skills
    committee, which is looking at Every Child Matters, Grange said the
    police were still trying to secure a national child protection IT
    system from the Home Office, which would take two years to develop
    and cost £10 million.

    He added that the database plans, set out within the Children
    Act, were “complicated” and needed to be “thought
    through”.

    Chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services
    children and families committee John Coughlan warned that if the
    database was used a quasi child protection register it would be a
    “disaster”.

    Earlier, chief executive of the NHS confederation, Gill Morgan,
    said primary care trusts would need to offer incentives to GPs to
    ensure they prioritised children.

    GPs, alongside teachers, are among the groups of professionals
    who are exempt from the new duties to cooperate with others and
    safeguard children under the act.

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