LETTER : Information about child abusers in the social services

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The Independent Online
From Mr Keith Mathieson

Sir: It would be good if both Islington and the Department of Health ministers would tell us the basis of the legal advice which has apparently persuaded them not to circulate actively the identities of suspected child abusers.

It is a defence to a libel action to show that the communication in question was made on an occasion of qualified privilege. Privileged communications include those made under a legal or moral imperative.

Can there be a greater moral imperative on those who know of suspected child abusers than to share their suspicions with anyone who might be thinking of employing such individuals to work with children?

Yours faithfully,

Keith Mathieson

Oswald Hickson Collier


London, EC4

3 August