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£224m child protection database to be closed down

6 August 2010

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A government database which was set up to improve child protection has been scrapped.

The £224m database, ContactPoint, was established by the previous Labour government to improve child protection following the Victoria Climbie child abuse scandal.

ContactPoint was launched last year and held the names, ages and addresses of all 11 million under-18s in England, together with their parents, schools and GPs’ contact details.

Problems apart from the cost plagued the system, including delays, technical problems and security fears.

The new coalition government pledged to close the database, saying it was “disproportionate and unjustifiable”.

“Ministers do not believe that a database, which holds details of all children in England and which is accessible to hundreds of thousands of people, is the right way to help vulnerable children,” the government said.

The database is being destroyed “using government-approved security standards and processes”.

Victoria Climbie, eight, died in 2000 after months of abuse.

The report into her death highlighted the need to improve information exchange between agencies working with vulnerable children.

Children’s minister Tim Loughton said he was looking at establishing a new national service focussing on helping people find out who is working, or has worked, in another authority area with a child.

Copyright © Press Association 2010