back to article DCSF reins in ContactPoint scope for police and A&E staff

The Department for Children, Schools and Families is resisting broadening access to the ContactPoint database for police officers and A&E staff, two groups most people would consider to be the frontline of spotting child abuse. Staff from the department admitted that this was for politcal expediency rather that to prevent …


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  1. andy

    NHS and Police

    If A and E are not allowed to access record and neither are the police the question is - who is ?

    More signs of joined up thinking by our political overlords

  2. Pete James

    You couldn't make it up

    From what i can see, the ACPO wanted access to the database, the Ministry said no, the ACPO said it could mean a child could be at risk, the Ministry said that could happen anyway.

    What was the point of this again? Apart from CapGemini waltzing off with another bag of cash?

  3. Ian K

    Police and medicos only need to wait

    It'll just be a few days before someone gets hold of a copy of the database that's been misposted/left on a train/dropped in a pub car park.

    Then they can take a local copy, slip in their own updates, and hand back a reburnt copy with a "Ooooh, good job we found this before it fell into the wrong hands!" comment.

    From past experience that'll probably let them make more frequent updates than the "gatekeeper" system, TBH.

  4. Frizz
    Paris Hilton


    "A&E visits tended to be for minor concerns anyway." Just shows how removed from reality these guy's are anyway, no doubt 'major' concerns go private, just like those troublesome infestations one keeps catching!

    Anyway, we all know access via a train seat/tube station/wine bar will soon be coming to a locale near you!

    Now where did I mispace that blade server??

    Paris...coz I know she wouldn't mispace my hardware

  5. Brian
    Thumb Down

    If they are going to have this database

    Surely police, teachers, GPs and A&E staff should be the first to get access, rather than the last?

    It is, after all, those groups that are most likely to detect the signs of abuse.

    More upside down thinking from the Neues Arbeit untermenschen.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know

    It is bollocks, I seem to remember one of my friends kids fell off a slide and hit its head, the friend in question then needed to go through quite a bit of trauma convincing idiotic medling and quite possibly retarded social workers that she wasn't abusing her child and that yes indeed the thing had fallen off of a slide and hit its head. The A&E staff tend to be quite up on reporting these things, sadly social services (as an organisation - not the individual very good social workers - and there are a few, not many but a few) couldn't spot a child in need if it was smashed against their office window. And no poxy database is gonna change that.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Good call

    This is not only a reasonable position for the DfCSF to take, but even if they had said "yes" to wider police access, it's difficult to see how this would have been achieved technically.

    Project SENTINEL, a national project run by the then-PITO (Police IT Organisation, subsumed on 1 April 2007 into the National Policing Improvement Agency) was shelved in December 2006 for cost reasons. It was intended to produce a national police child abuse investigation case management system, following on from Recommendation 104 of Lord Laming's enquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié, and in fact the proposal had been agreed by all parties concerned... but there was allegedly no money to pay for it. Consequently, the police still have no way of knowing if a child or young person coming to their notice has been the subject of a child abuse investigation in the next force area, or indeed anywhere across the country.

    I wonder what Lord Laming's view of that will be...?

  8. Simon.W

    let us not forget...

    that in the Baby P case the social services had the information but made a deliberate decision not to take action.

    With ContactPoint does this mean the social service will make the decision not to act that much faster, thus allowing such abuses to drop under the radar even quicker? I think this is a very good reason to scrap ContactPoint.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And they wonder why we dont' trust them...

    I mean let me see if I get this right

    the Database is for "social workers" and the leike so they can see if a kid from any area has already been spotted as a "potential abuse" victim and they can act on it, HANG ON...

    The kids teacher, school nurse or A&E Personel are all more likely to spot something is a miss, than a bleeding social worker, I know there are a few good ones but most I think can't be bothered .

    Unfortunatly in this day and age of "PC'ness" they can't do half of things teachers could do when I were a lad, sad really.

    This looks like a way for social services to sit with their fingers in their ears humming loudly that they can't hear you etc, etc...

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