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Politics – Snoopers’ charter

June 2016

GPs and housing officers should be recruited to snoop on Scottish families as part of the Named Person scheme, according to minutes from the board behind its implementation.

In a report from the Christian Institute, whose spokesman Simon Calvert is also a spokesman for the ‘No to Named Persons’ campaign, documents reveal a worrying trend of state interference.

The minutes also show Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell suggested more should be done to ‘break down barriers’ with GPs, who are concerned about patient confidentiality.

The Named Person implementation board, chaired by Aileen Campbell, was disbanded at the end of 2014.Yet minutes from the board show a clear intent to override a family’s right to privacy.

A document dated February 2013 revealed housing officers are expected to report aspects of a child’s ‘well-being’ to Named Persons after visiting a home. It states that working with housing officers ‘was very productive, as they had access to information and were supportive’. Voluntary groups were also seen as a fertile recruiting ground for information gathering.

Mr Calvert described the findings as ‘horrifying’. He said, ‘The government has got to get its head around the simple fact that families just do not want an invasion force of state-sponsored snoopers gathering data on their private lives’.

Under the Named Person scheme, every child in Scotland, from birth to age 18, will be appointed to a state guardian, responsible for monitoring his or her ‘well-being’.