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----- Original Message -----
Dear Richard Ingle,
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?"
Dear Mr Mortimer
I am writing in response to your request for information below.
As I understand it you are seeking to know:
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.
Unfortunately we are not able to provide the information you are seeking as we do not record this information in a way that its easily retrievable. The only way this information could be provided would be manually examining and extracting information from approximately 550 cases which, as I hope you can appreciate would involve an excessive amount of officer time.
S12 of the FOIA states that a Public Authority is not obliged to respond to a request for information under S1 of the FOIA where it estimates that the cost of doing so would 'exceed the appropriate limit'. The 'appropriate limit', as laid down in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004 (the 'Regulations'), is £450 which equates to 18 hours work.
We estimate that the cost of searching our records to ascertain whether the information is held and to collate this information would be over the 'appropriate limit' as laid down in the Regulations and as such is exempt under S12 of the FOIA.
If you have any queries regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact me.
If you wish to request an internal review of our response you should write, within 2 months, to:
Office Managing Partner, Legal Services, Civic Centre, High St, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW (or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org marked for the attention of the Office Managing Partner).
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Data Protection &
Freedom of Information Officer
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.