UK Family Law Reform

Free information index

----- Original Message -----
From: McKayNe@northlan.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 5:37 PM
Subject: RE: Review of Freedom of Information Request

Dear Mr. Mortimer

I refer to your email of 18 March 2014 sent following the Review of your Freedom of Information Request submitted on 28 December 2013. I refer also to your email of 21 March 2014 sent in reply to the response to a separate request for information made on 21 February 2014 in which you pose the same two questions contained in your email of 18 March.

At the outset, I should say that by writing to my colleagues Ms. Cochrane and Ms. Hazarika rather than contacting the Scottish Information Commissioner with regard to your review response, or by contacting the Executive Director as advised by Ms. Hazarika in response to your request of 21 February 2014, it appears that you are choosing not to invoke the relevant appeal procedures in relation to your requests.

I must advise also, that the questions posed in your emails of 18 and 21 March 2014 do not appear to be valid fresh requests for information in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, inasmuch as you are seeking explanation rather than requesting recorded information.

That said, and in order to be of some assistance, I have contacted the Council’s Social Work Services with regards to your two questions and they have asked me to advise you that the Council holds personal data on individuals known to the Social Work Service who have been implicated in, or convicted of matters relating to child protection. It is this information and not collated statistics which helps safeguard children.

I hope this further explanation is of some assistance, however, should you wish to appeal the either the Review decision or the response to your request of 21 February 2014, you should follow the procedures as outlined in the responses of 18 and 21 March.

Your sincerely

Neil McKay

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Legal Services

North Lanarkshire Council

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: HazarikaS@northlan.gov.uk
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 4:25 PM
Subject: Re: Request for Information

Dear Sandra Hazarika,

Please will you kindly tell me (A) what information the legislation & regulations require North Lanarkshire Council to collect & hold on child abuse perpetrators & (B) who your child protection policies are designed to protect children from if they are not based on this information?

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: HazarikaS@northlan.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 4:08 PM
Subject: RE: Request for Information

Dear Mr Mortimer

I refer again to your e-mail dated 21 February 2014 seeking further information in relation to child neglect and abuse.

Having investigated, I can advise that no formal written complaint has been made by the persons references (A) - (D), about the way in which child abuse perpetrator information is collected by North Lanarkshire Council in the last twelve months.

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that request, can within forty working days require a review of that decision by writing to the Executive Director of Corporate Services, Civic Centre, Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1AB. Accordingly, if you are dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write to the Executive Director of Corporate Services.

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section 21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice - may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt with in accordance with the Act. Such an application must be in writing or in another form which, by reason of it having some permanency is capable of being used for subsequent reference - for example a recording made in audio or video tape - must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence and must specify the request for information to which the requirement for review relates, the matter which gave rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local authority and the matter which gives rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the decision on review by the local authority or the failure of the local authority to issue such a decision. The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:-

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrew’s

KY16 9DS

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose. If, however, you require further information – or I can assist in any other way – please let me know.

Yours sincerely

Sandra Hazarika

For Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Legal Services

North Lanarkshire Council

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: cochraneda@northlan.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:35 PM
Subject: Re: Review of Freedom of Information Request

Dear Daryle Cochrane,

Please will you kindly tell me (A) why North Lanarkshire council does not collect & hold information on child abuse perpetrators & (B) who your child protection policies are designed to protect children from if they are not based on this information?

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: cochraneda@northlan.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:53 AM
Subject: Review of Freedom of Information Request

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Please see the attached letter.

Kind Regards,

Daryle Cochrane

Trainee Solicitor

Legal Services Division

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: HazarikaS@northlan.gov.uk
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 3:21 PM
Subject: Re: Request for Information

Dear Sandra Hazarika,

Please will you kindly tell me if (A) the North Lanarkshire council's chief executive (B) the chief social work officer (C) the manager of children & families department or (D) any other elected member of the Council has made a formal written complaint about the way in which child abuse perpetrator information is collected by North Lanarkshire council in the last 12 months?

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: HazarikaS@northlan.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014 3:58 PM
Subject: FW : Request for Information

Dear Mr Mortimer

I refer again to your email of 28 January 2014 seeking information in relation to child neglect and abuse.

Having investigated, my response to your queries referenced (a) to (e) is as follows:-

a) North Lanarkshire Council's Chief Executive and the Chief Social Work Officer.

b) & d) The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) regulates Social Work practise in Scotland. Elected members of the Council and the Child Protection Committee also have a role with regards to these parts of your query.

c) Manager, Children and Families and the Chief Social Work Officer.

e) Elected members of the Council and the Chief Executive would have the responsibility to ensure that this function is properly discharged.

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that request, can within forty working days require a review of that decision by writing to the Executive Director of Corporate Services, Civic Centre, Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1AB. Accordingly, if you are dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write to the Executive Director of Corporate Services.

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section 21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice - may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt with in accordance with the Act. Such an application must be in writing or in another form which, by reason of it having some permanency is capable of being used for subsequent reference - for example a recording made in audio or video tape - must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence and must specify the request for information to which the requirement for review relates, the matter which gave rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local authority and the matter which gives rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the decision on review by the local authority or the failure of the local authority to issue such a decision. The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:-

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrew’s

KY16 9DS

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose. If, however, you require further information – or I can assist in any other way – please let me know.

Yours sincerely

Sandra Hazarika

For Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Legal Services

North Lanarkshire Council

----- Original Message -----
From: McKayNe@northlan.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:58 AM
Subject: RE: Request for Information

Dear Mr. Mortimer

I refer to your email and can advise that in responding to your request I liaised with the relevant Service department of the Council in investigating what information was held relative to your request and, the Freedom of information section utilises the services of a typing pool in drafting correspondence. That said, however, I am the author of the response email sent to you on 18 February.

With regards to your other comments, and, as you are dissatisfied with my response to your request, I have arranged for your email to be processed as a request for review under the provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

You will be contacted again once the Council is in a position to respond more fully to your review.

Yours sincerely

Neil McKay

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Legal Services

North Lanarkshire Council

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: McKayNe@northlan.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:58 PM
Subject: Re: Request for Information

Dear Neil McKay,

Please will you kindly confirm if what is stated in the reply below was written by you & nobody else?

Please will you also explain to me why you think the disclosure of the information which I have asked North Lanarkshire Council for by making a freedom of information request would contravene the data protection principles given that I have not asked for any personal details about the perpetrators of child abuse. I have only asked what their relationship was to the child victim?

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: McKayNe@northlan.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:03 PM
Subject: RE: Request for Information

Dear Mr Mortimer

I refer again to your email of 28 December 2013 seeking information in relation to child protection. I refer also to your email of 28 January 2014 clarifying your request and to my email of 30 January 2014.

Having investigated, and with regard to your clarified request, I regret to advise you that I am unable to provide you with the information requested in that the disclosure of the information would contravene the data protection principles and that this constitutes a ground for absolute exemption in terms of Section 38 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. In coming to this conclusion, account has been taken of the Scottish Executives Code of Practice on protocol on data access and confidentiality which states that all figures released should not identify either explicitly or inexplicitly any individual who is the statistical subject. The effect of this is that as the number of perpetrators over the period of your enquiry was five or fewer, I am unable to provide you with the precise figure of the further breakdown requested.

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that request, can within forty working days require a review of that decision by writing to the Executive Director of Corporate Services, Civic Centre, Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1AB. Accordingly, if you are dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write to the Executive Director of Corporate Services.

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section 21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice - may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt with in accordance with the Act. Such an application must be in writing or in another form which, by reason of it having some permanency is capable of being used for subsequent reference - for example a recording made in audio or video tape - must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence and must specify the request for information to which the requirement for review relates, the matter which gave rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local authority and the matter which gives rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the decision on review by the local authority or the failure of the local authority to issue such a decision. The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:-

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrew’s

KY16 9DS

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose. If, however, you require further information – or I can assist in any other way – please let me know.

Yours sincerely

Neil McKay

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Legal Services

North Lanarkshire Council

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: LynnA@northlan.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 4:21 PM
Subject: Re: Rquest for Information

Dear Angelene Kirkpatrick,

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: LynnA@northlan.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 4:17 PM
Subject: Rquest for Information

Dear Mr Mortimer

Request for Information

I refer again to your e-mail of 28 December 2013 seeking information in relation to child protection.

Having investigated, I can advise there have been 194 initial child protection conferences held between 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013 where child protection registration occurred due to the ongoing concerns in respect of familial abuse.

72 of these child protection registrations were in respect of emotional abuse.

29 of these child protection registrations were in respect of physical injury.

83 of these child protection registrations were in respect of physical neglect.

10 of these child protection registrations were in respect of sexual abuse.

I regret to advise you that the information sought in relation to gender and specific relationships is not routinely collated and in terms of Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 I must advise you that the information as sought is not held. By way of some explanation, it would only be recorded if a person is an alleged perpetrator and not an actual convicted offender, more often than not a conviction will not occur until a significant period after registration.

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that request, can within forty working days require a review of that decision by writing to the Executive Director of Corporate Services, Civic Centre, Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1AB. Accordingly, if you are dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write to the Executive Director of Corporate Services.

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section 21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice - may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt with in accordance with the Act. Such an application must be in writing or in another form which, by reason of it having some permanency is capable of being used for subsequent reference - for example a recording made in audio or video tape - must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence and must specify the request for information to which the requirement for review relates, the matter which gave rise to the applicant's dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local authority and the matter which gives rise to the applicant's dissatisfaction with the decision on review by the local authority or the failure of the local authority to issue such a decision. The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:-

Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St. Andrew's
KY16 9DS

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose. If, however, you require further information - or I can assist in any other way - please let me know.

Yours sincerely

Angelene Kirkpatrick

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

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