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
    part.

    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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