Thursday, 28 May 2015

Wilful neglect, mandatory reporting and the culture of blame

Tucked away on page 69 of the Government’s guide to the Queen’s Speech, (which contains the programme of legislation for the forthcoming year) is the following ominous paragraph:

“Subject to the outcome of a public consultation, introduce improved protection for children, either through amending current duties, introducing a criminal offence of ‘wilful neglect’ or introducing a mandatory reporting scheme.”

It is interesting to see that the paragraph carefully avoids saying whose ‘current duties’ are to be amended or who would be prosecuted or who would be mandated to report.

Anybody who agrees with me that this type of legislation is likely to be entirely counter-productive, and likely to make children less safe, should keep a careful eye out for the consultation commencing and make sure that they put in a submission, which can be quite short, letting the government know just what they think of this extremely bad idea.

Watch this space – I will flag up the consultation just as soon as I see it.