UK Family Law Reform

Free information index

----- Original Message -----
From: csd.foi@cityoflondon.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 11:52 AM
Subject: FOI RFI: Mortimer, wef 28 Jan 2014 - Response

Dear Mr Mortimer

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST

Following receipt of your request for information on the 27th January 2014 and our acknowledgement of the same date, the City of London (CoL) responds as follows.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, could you kindly supply me with the following:

(a) the council authority, council officer and the name of that officer, who decides on what information on child neglect and abuse is collected & held by your council;

Policies and procedures regarding child neglect are driven by statutory requirements set out in the Children Act 1989 and Working Together 2010. The responsibilities to discharge these duties sits with the Children and Families Team. The Director of Community and Children's Services, Ade Adetosoye is responsible for ensuring these duties are implemented.

(b) the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

The Department of Community and Children's Services Committee and the Safeguarding Sub Committee (Children and Community Services Committee) with representatives from elected members and officers of the CoL Corporation. In addition the Local Safeguarding Children Board arrangements including the publication of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board, Annual Report.

(c) the council authority, the council officer and the name of that officer, responsible for your child protection policies;

As stated in answer (a) above.

(d) the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

As stated in answer (b) above.

(e) how the function in (c) is properly discharged and held accountable for policies which would best effectively protect children from abuse if the person referred to in (a) does not collect any information on child abuse perpetration?"

As stated in answers (a) and (b).

Please note that the City (the "Square Mile") has a resident population of only about 7400 people.

If you wish to make a complaint about the way the CoL has handled your enquiry, please make your complaint in writing to email address: complaints@cityoflondon.gov.uk

For a link to the CoL's FOI complaints procedure, please visit the following page: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Feedback, at the end of which is located the FOI complaints procedure. If, having used the CoL's Complaints Procedure, you are still dissatisfied, you may request the Information Commissioner to investigate. Please contact: Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Telephone: (01625) 545 700. Website: http://www.ico.org.uk.

Please note that the Act applies to the City of London only as a local authority, police authority and port health authority.

Yours sincerely

Business Service Officer
Department of Community and Children's Services
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: csd.foi@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 4:33 PM
Subject: Please accept this message as a official request for information.

Dear Business Service Officer,

Please will you kindly tell me:

(a) the council authority, council officer and the name of that officer, who decides on what information on child neglect and abuse is collected & held by your council;

(b) the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

(c) the council authority, the council officer and the name of that officer, responsible for your child protection policies;

(d) the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

(e) how the function in (c) is properly discharged and held accountable for policies which would best effectively protect children from abuse if the person referred to in (a) does not collect any information on child abuse perpetratration?"

Yours Sincerely

David Mortimer

----- Original Message -----
From: csd.foi@cityoflondon.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 4:25 PM
Subject: RE: FOI RFI: Mortimer, wef 30 Dec 2013 - response

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your email.

In response to your further request, the CoL did not have any substantiated cases of child abuse during the period specified.

If you wish to make a complaint about the way the CoL has handled your enquiry, please make your complaint in writing to email address: complaints@cityoflondon.gov.uk. For a link to the CoL's FOI complaints procedure, please visit the following page: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Feedback, at the end of which is located the FOI complaints procedure. If, having used the CoL's Complaints Procedure, you are still dissatisfied, you may request the Information Commissioner to investigate. Please contact: Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Telephone: (01625) 545 700. Website: http://www.ico.org.uk.

Please note that the Act applies to the City of London only as a local authority, police authority and port health authority.

Yours sincerely

Business Service Officer
Department of Community and Children's Services
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: csd.foi@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:12 AM
Subject: Re: FOI RFI: Mortimer, wef 30 Dec 2013 - response

Dear Business Service Officer,

What I mean by substantiated child abuse cases are those who have been taken through the criminal justice system & found guilty of a child abuse offence. What I mean by child is those under the age of 18 years of age. What I want is information on the perpetrators of child abuse. I am not asking for any information about the child victims.

Yours Sincerely

David Mortimer

----- Original Message -----
From: csd.foi@cityoflondon.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 10:48 AM
Subject: FOI RFI: Mortimer, wef 30 Dec 2013 - response

Dear Mr Mortimer

Following receipt of your request for information received on 28 December 2013 and our acknowledgement of 30 December 2013, the City of London (CoL) responds as follows.

Your request was:

“Please will you kindly tell me what the (a) gender and (b) familial relationship was to the child victim of offenders in substantiated child abuse cases in the area which you have a duty to protect children from abuse for the last full year which figures are available, broken down by (i) physical abuse, (ii) emotional abuse, (iii) sexual abuse and (iv) cases of neglect.”

The CoL considers that, in accordance with the FOIA section 40(2) exemption ('personal information'), it should refuse the information you have requested in this instance.

This exemption is applied as the CoL considers that the disclosure of the information under the FOIA would be a breach of Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA); that is, the requirement for fair and lawful processing of sensitive personal information within the meaning of the DPA. The definition of sensitive personal information under the DPA includes information relating to “physical or mental health or condition”. The CoL considers that, with a very small population, it has to exercise caution about what information it holds which, if disclosed, could be linked with identifiable individuals. The CoL considers in this instance that, while it can confirm that it holds the relevant information, it should refuse disclosure.

As we noted in our acknowledgement, the CoL is the Local Authority for the “Square Mile” only, ie the historic City of London, and not for London as a whole (which is covered by over 30 boroughs and the Westminster City Council). We directed you to the following link to a map on the CoL's website, which shows the area covered:
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/maps/Pages/explore-the-city.aspx .
Please note that the "Square Mile" has a very small resident population. In the 2011 census it was recorded as being 7,400 people, 784 of which were within the age bracket of 0-19 years.

The CoL considers that it is necessary to pay due respect to the privacy of its small resident population, and especially to that of vulnerable groups within it.

We also note that a public authority has to consider a disclosure under the FOIA as a disclosure to the world. We note the Information Tribunal’s statement that “Disclosure under [the] FOIA is effectively an unlimited disclosure to the public as a whole” (Information Tribunal Appeal Decision EA/2006/0011 & 0013), which was also referred to by the Information Commissioner (Information Commissioner's Decision Notice FS 50294078). We would therefore have to consider disclosure of the information as potentially a considerable overriding of privacy, should it result in the identification of individuals.

In conclusion, we do not consider that there are any conditions under Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 of the DPA which would permit disclosure. (In accordance with Principle 1, one condition from each schedule would need to be satisfied to permit disclosure of sensitive personal information which could be linked to individuals).

Finally, we note that the section 40(2) exemption is an absolute exemption, ie it is not subject to the public interest test.

We are sorry that we are unable to assist on this occasion.

If you wish to make a complaint about the way the CoL has handled your enquiry, please make your complaint in writing to email address: complaints@cityoflondon.gov.uk. For a link to the CoL's FOI complaints procedure, please visit the following page: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Feedback, at the end of which is located the FOI complaints procedure. If, having used the CoL's Complaints Procedure, you are still dissatisfied, you may request the Information Commissioner to investigate. Please contact: Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Telephone: (01625) 545 700. Website: http://www.ico.org.uk.

Please note that the Act applies to the City of London only as a local authority, police authority and port health authority.

The CoL holds the copyright in this communication. Its supply does not give a right to re-use in a way that would infringe that copyright, for example, by making copies, publishing and issuing copies to the public or to any other person. Brief extracts of any of the material may be reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (sections 29 and 30) for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and news reporting, subject to an acknowledgement of the copyright owner.

Yours sincerely

Business Service Officer
Department of Community and Children's Services
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Who do local authorities protect children from? 28th December 2013

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/abuse.htm

What is and who is behind the Family Law Reform Group?

http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ukfamilylawreform/info

The Family Law Reform Group, as the name suggests, is a group specifically set up to campaign for UK family law reform. It is the brainchild of David Mortimer. David, a father who has been through the family court process and suffered many of the pitfalls and injustices of an outmoded legal system, has long campaigned for changes in family law to achieve justice for all, and in the hope and expectation that his sons’ sons and other fathers’ sons will never have to endure what he or they have done. That is the ethos of this Group – to build a better future for our children.

I became acquainted with David a number of years ago through a mutual contact while researching for the first edition of my legal handbook Fathers Matter. During this time I have observed his determination, perseverance and tenacity in bringing difficult and highly controversial family issues to the foreground, even though on numerous occasions it has brought him into conflict with those in a position of authority. Although David instigated the formation of the Group, he makes it very clear that he is just one part of it and the Group depends on the input of all its members to bring about radical reform which is its ultimate goal . The Group also provides support and information to anyone who needs it.

Celia Conrad, former specialist family lawyer and author of Fathers Matter.