The Soham murders and the dismal record of teenage pregnancies have no doubt contibuted to what The Guardian has reported, that Teenagers face 'intrusive' questioning on sex lives
Presumably due to the delays by the Home Office and the and the other Big Nanny Departments of State, who have still failed to issue official guidance and procedures regarding "soft intelligence" and children at risk, following the Bichard Inquiry, various lower level bureaucratic alliances are starting to develop their own systems to address the very real social problems surrounding sexually active teenagers.
Why are they poking their noses into the lives of 16 and 17 year olds, when the age of consent is 16 ?
Why do these procedures have to be so secretive, bureaucratic, complicated, unnaccountable and probably illegal ?
According to complicated
"Working with Sexually Active Young People under the age of 18 – a Pan-London Protocol"
"Assessing Risk using Police Information
2.4 Automatic formal referral to the Police may stop young people confiding in social care and health practitioners, including those young people most at risk of abuse. Nevertheless, the police may hold information about individuals who pose a danger to young people, which is not necessarily known to other agencies. The Metropolitan Police have agreed therefore that, for the purposes of this Protocol, they will provide information about children and their sexual partners for the purposes of an agency’s risk assessment (see Section 2.2 above) without treating the information as a formally referred allegation of crime. The police will record the request for intelligence purposes in order that potential abusers can be identified. "
"Detective chief superintendent Peter Spindler, head of the Met's Child Abuse Investigation Command, said: "The Sexual Offences Act makes it a criminal offence for a child under 13 to be penetrated. That's the bit we're worried about.
"When we get into the 13, 14 or 15 age group we won't put the information on the crime system, we will put it on as intelligence.""
All very laudable in intent, no doubt, but why can they not see the privacy dangers in this informal bureacratic approach ?
How does turning a blind eye to underage sex by teenagers reduce the number of teenage pregnancies ?
How are you or your teenage children ever going to know if they are erroneously being suspected or accused of an improper sexual relationship ?
This "protocol" circumvents the normal audit trail of disclosable material, which might be revealed by a Data Protection Act subject data access request or any enquiries by an independent review or even a court, none of which will ever be allowed to see informal "soft intelligence" police databases.
Virtually every case that comes before the social or health or educational authorities is now going to involve a police database check.
How does pretending that there has not been sufficient cause for concern to alert the police with a formal criminal investigation request, but simply hiding the enquiry on the secret intelligence databases help to encourage teenagers to seek advice on pregnancy, contaception, sexually transmitted diseases etc. or to report sexual abuse ? How will any of this prevent another Soham type tragedy ?
Meanwhile, the NuLabour Government has still not signed or ratified the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings which aims to give minimum rights to victims of the sex slave trade, including mostly women and children.