UK Family Law Reform

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----- Original Message -----
From: Stephen.Armstrong@eastdunbarton.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Cc: june.day@eastdunbarton.gov.uk
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 11:12 AM
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information Request: FOI/04431: child abuse cases

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Thank you for your email. I am happy to clarify the content of our response.

It is wrong to infer that we do not collect information on child abuse perpetrators. We do collect this information. Our response advised that we are unable to release this in answer to your enquiry. It is our concern that in such a small authority providing the requested details would allow for the identification of individuals. In this case both the perpetrators and the victims of abuse.

In terms of legislation, releasing the information would be a breach of of our responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998. As a result it would also be contrary to Section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 which imposes an exemption prohibiting the release of
information which would breach any of the Data Protection Act's principles.

In our response we sought to explain this in reference to the figures we provide to the Scottish Government on child protection. My apologies if this has caused confusion. Our concern of allowing for the identification of an individual prohibited the release of the information you requested. However, rather than responding with a straight refusal, we felt that our published figures on child protection might be helpful to you. The Government's website's tables, which use an asterisk where the number is between 1 and 5, also demonstrate the practice of refusing to publish figures where there are a small number of victims.

I hope that this clarification is helpful. As advised if you are unhappy with the content of a response to a Freedom of Information enquiry, you are entitled to seek Internal Review. This option is open to you should you so wish. If I can clarify further though please do let me know.

Kind regards,

Stephen Armstrong
Freedom of Information/Data Protection Officer,
East Dunbartonshire Council,

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: june.day@eastdunbarton.gov.uk
Cc: Stephen.Armstrong@eastdunbarton.gov.uk
Date: 06/02/2014 13:34
Subject: Freedom of Information Request: FOI/04431: child abuse cases

Dear June Day,

Your reply, worries me & I would like you to kindly confirm in your reply that East Dunbartonshire Council does not collect any information on child abuse perpetrators & how you think child protection policies can be written which would best effectively protect children from abuse if they do not collect this information?

Maybe you will also be kind enough to confirm that you are well aware that none of the information which is published by the Scottish Government provides information on the perpetrators of abuse or their familial relationship to the child victim.

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: june.day@eastdunbarton.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Cc: Stephen.Armstrong@eastdunbarton.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 2:27 PM
Subject: Freedom of Information Request: FOI/04431: child abuse cases

Dear Sir/Madam

In response to your Freedom of Information Request. East Dunbartonshire
Council can provide you with the following information:

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.

As a small Local Authority, East Dunbartonshire has limited numbers of
children placed on the Child Protection Register relative to figures
returned from larger Authorities. Under Section 25 of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002, I can advise that all Scottish data in
this regard can be obtained via Scottish Government website at
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
and is current up to the 2011-12 reporting year. The information and
figures sought around category of harm are as follows; Physical Abuse -
less than 5, Emotional Abuse - 6, Sexual Abuse - less than 5 and Neglect -
less than 5. (n.b: for Scottish Government, numbers less than 5 are not
recorded). For the purposes of best protecting the identity and
confidentiality of any parties involved, where the numbers are so small, we
would not wish to provide detail on gender or familial relationship. I must
advise, under Section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002, that we are unable to provide you with that level of detail as it is
our view that it would allow for the identification of specific individuals
and therefore exempt from release.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which East Dunbartonshire Council
has dealt with your Freedom of Information request, you are entitled to
require the Council to review its decision. Please note that in order for
a review to take place you must:

· Lodge a written requirement for a review within 40 working days of
the date of this letter.
· Include a correspondence address and a description of the original
request and the reason why you are dissatisfied.
· Address your request to the Freedom of Information Officer:

Stephen Armstrong
Freedom of Information/Data Protection Officer
East Dunbartonshire Council
Broomhill Industrial Estate
Kilsyth Road
Kirkintilloch
G66 4QF

Regards

June Day

http://www.eastdunbarton.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.