Free information index
Dear Alice Duarte,
Section 13 of the FOI Act requires that you issues a fees notice, over and above the appropriate limit, when compliance exceeds the appropriate limit of the cost to you.
It is only when i have failed to comply with the fees notice, in paying the cost over the appropriate limit, that you are able to claim that the cost of compliance to you will exceed the appropriate limit.
The intention being, to stop exactly what you are doing, rendering the entire act ineffective by simply claiming that it is too expensive.
Since you have no efficient and effective means of establishing child neglect and abuse data then, necessarily, you are unable to conform with the government's child protection guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children in that the prevention of child neglect and abuse should be based on evidence and data.
You are consequently failing in your duty to provide the principal measure of child protection of deterrence in the criminal law.
It comes a little surprise that a recent Children Commissioner Inquiry has found that around 2000 children per year are subject the child sexual exploitation by groups and gangs. A twenty year problem dating back to the Utting report of 1995.
Best regards Dave
Dear Mr Mortimer,
Your request for information concerning child abuse cases has been processed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI). You have specifically requested the following.
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.
I am able to confirm that your request has been processed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) and following enquiries within the Joint Child Protection Investigation Unit, I have been advised that the specific information requested is not held by Hertfordshire Constabulary in a format that would make it easily retrievable.
Section 17 of the Act requires the Constabulary, when refusing to provide such information because of the application of an exemption, to provide you with a notice which i) states that fact; ii) specifies the exemption in question; and iii) states why the exemption applies. It is considered that the information you have requested is exempt by virtue of Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Section 12(1) states that a public authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.
It would require manually examining each individual referral or recorded allegation of child abuse; and any associated records held on recording systems such as the incident, crime, custody and PNC; and with over 3000 recorded referrals a year proceeding in this manner would exceed the appropriate limit by virtue of Section 12 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Freedom of Information Assistant
Hertfordshire Constabulary provides you the right to request a re-examination of your case under its review procedure. If you decide to request such a review and having followed Hertfordshire Constabulary’s full process and you are still dissatisfied, then you have the right to direct your comments to the Information Commissioner who will give it consideration.
----- Original Message -----
Dear Mr. Mortimer,
On 30th December 2014 Hertfordshire County Council received the following request for information from you:
“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.”
Your request for information has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I can confirm that Hertfordshire County Council does not hold the information you have requested. Information relating to Offenders would be held by Hertfordshire Constabulary , contact details for which are:
Information Compliance Office
You may wish to contact them directly. However, if you wish for Hertfordshire County Council to forward your request and contact details on to the ten district and borough councils in Hertfordshire, please contact us again.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, quoting the reference number on this letter. To find out more about Freedom of Information, please visit http://www.hertsdirect.org/foi
If you are unhappy with the way the County Council has handled your request for information you may request an internal review of the request. This will be carried out by a member of the County Council Legal Services Team, who has had no prior involvement with the request. Requests for an internal review should be sent to the Information Governance Unit at the address above.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to investigate your complaint. You should write to: FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution, Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Information Access Manager
Information Governance Unit
Hertfordshire County Council
Postal Point CHN 305
Hertford, SG13 8DQ
Telephone: 01992 555848
What is and who is behind the Family Law Reform Group?
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.