ContactPoint switched off today

The government has today switched off ContactPoint, the £235m information-sharing database, as children's minister Tim Loughton (pictured) labelled it a "surrogate ID card" scheme.

The government has today switched off ContactPoint, the £235m information-sharing database.

“It’s not computer systems that save vulnerable children, it’s the professional social workers and others at the sharp end, properly motivated, trained and resourced to make the right decisions as to when intervention is necessary,” said children’s minister Tim Loughton on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

The system, containing records of all children in England, was established to improve child protection following the Victoria Climbie case.

“We don’t think that spreading very thinly a resource which contains details of all 11 million children in the entire country, more than 90% of which will never come into contact with children’s services, is the best way of safeguarding genuinely vulnerable children,” Loughton added

He said the government had had long-standing concerns about security of the system and that it also presented a a civil liberties issue. Loughton called ContactPoint a “surrogate ID card scheme for children by the back door”.

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