NSPCC slams sexual health reporting

Young people could be deterred from using sexual health services by guidelines requiring their sexual activity to be reported to the police and social services, a leading children’s charity has warned.

The NSPCC said the London Child Protection Committee protocol could lead to an increase in sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

According to the protocol, a child under 13 who is sexually active should be reported to the police and social services. It also states that professionals should consider checking with the police to find out whether the sexual partner of a child under 16 is having, or has had, other worrying relationships with children or young people.

But Chris Mills, child protection policy adviser to the NSPCC, said the protocol went against current legislation and government guidance on information-sharing.

And he said it could encourage young people to provide false information, he added.

The protocol has already been criticised by the Office of the Information Commissioner (<a href=”https://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2005/10/06/51196/Data-sharing+plans+on+sexually+active+children+fall+foul+of.html”>news, 6 October</a>).

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