Free information index
Dear Mr Mortimer
I am writing regarding your request for information, which was received on 9th January 2014.
You asked Southend Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) for information about the (a) gender and (b) familial relationship was to the child victim of offenders in substantiated child abuse cases in Southend-on-Sea 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.
Southend LSCB does not possess the information you have requested. I would suggest that this information may be available from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, Essex Police, or Southend Borough Council Children’s Services.
If you wish to discuss my response to this information request please contact the LSCB Business Manager, Helen Wilson (contact details below)
Christine Doorly – Independent Chair – Southend LSCB
Sent on behalf of Christine Doorly by:
Helen M Wilson – Business Manager – Southend LSCB & SVAB
Creating a Better Southend
Dear Mr Mortimer
I am writing regarding your request for information, which was received on 28th December 2013.
In that request you asked us the following questions and I can confirm that the search for the information you requested has been completed and our responses are given below:
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 have been informed that the information you have requested is not available in the form that you have asked for. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council does not necessarily identify the perpetrator of abuse but instead focuses on the risk to the child and whether it is believed that a child has suffered significant harm.
This means that the only record we hold of such information is in the individual files of children that are on Child Protection Plans. Approximately 250 files would need to be examined for the last full year for which figures are available.
We estimate that it would take approximately 30 minutes per file to check whether the Department has any record of the identity of offenders.
Therefore if these files were examined, we estimate that fulfilling your request would take a minimum of 125 hours.
The appropriate cost limit of handling a Freedom of Information Request is specified in regulations and for local government it is set at £450, the equivalent of one staff member working on a request for 18 hours at a fixed rate of £25 per hour.
Based on the forgoing, your request would take a minimum of 125 hours and therefore it would cost more than the appropriate limit.
Consequently the Council is not obliged by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request (see section 12(1)).
I have considered how to narrow the scope of your request (so that we may be able to provide information free of charge because it would cost less than the appropriate limit to do so) and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council would be able to provide you with information on how many children had a Child Protection Plan in the past year and the category under which this is recorded.
If you are able to suggest an alternative please let me know. Any reformulated request the Council receives will be treated as a new FOI request.
A change would be in the best interests of children.