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Child Cruelty Register

Volume 715: debated on Tuesday 24 May 2022

14. What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the introduction of a child cruelty register following the enactment of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. (900202)

The entire House and the whole country speak with one voice in saying that child cruelty is abhorrent. The Government are determined to ensure that the law offers the fullest protection to children; that is why we brought forward the sentencing measures through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. My right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor has asked the Department for Education and the Home Office to consider issues around the management of child cruelty offenders, including the introduction of a register.

Does the Minister agree that the creation of a child cruelty register would be enormously helpful to those already involved in child welfare issues, such as social workers and police? Does he also agree that it would ensure that no looked-after child would be placed with any person who is on such a register, and that that would not only save lives, but prevent injury, both physical and psychological?

My hon. Friend is right to raise this matter, not least given the hugely troubling and distressing cases that we have seen reported in the media of late. One thing we know, which was borne out in the care review published yesterday, is that there is a challenge with data and information sharing between agencies. I am sure that my counterparts in both the Department for Education and the Home Office will consider whether a register of child cruelty offenders would improve child safeguarding processes, alongside wider learning from the findings of forthcoming reviews, such as that into the tragic deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson.