I do wonder now the election has been called what initiatives are going to be scaled back after the poll assuming NuLabor no longer hold the tillers of power. I'm all for a smaller state and less state interference in personal affairs.
One area I for one would like to see some discretion allowed is "Every Child Matters". This is an information sharing protocol we are told is to protect vulnerable children. As police officers we do of course come across many children. Most of them are already known to the system be it criminal or for at risk matters. We always did complete a form in these cases which was faxed off and disseminated by youth services.
The new system as brought in takes away any discretion and we are required to complete a computer record for every child, even in cases where we've not even seen them. For example if a neighbour called the police because you were having an argument with your spouse. This is classed as a domestic and even if it is a minor matrimonial dispute with no violence or crime involved it's recorded as a non crime domestic. Forgetting the completion of the domestic booklet and crime report, if you have children it also triggers a computer record for any children in the household (even if not present). So a non crime is fully recorded and details of minors are sat on a database for what reason?
My point is that we are recording so many non records that the important ones that need action are going to be missed. I feel very uneasy in having anything recorded if you've done nothing wrong.
I've had situations myself in the past where my ex would go walkabouts when mentally ill, and be missing with my daughter who was about four or five at the time. Was she at risk? possibly, but would it be the business of social services to intervene in a private matter. I think that it would be my personal choice to have sought their assistance if that's what I wanted. For the record everything was sorted with the help of my family and although the ex had a CPN - I would have been mightily peeved to had my daughter's details held on police records. (Misper PNC reports were cancelled on being found).
After this all came in I recall seeing my force put out a release boasting how many reports they had taken in a short time. It was thousands. There will still be disasters in child welfare where inaction takes place, but should thousands of children have these records held on them. We've gone to a catch all system of police recording which in my opinion is unnecessary and very time consuming.