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£224m child protection database to be closed down

A government database which was set up to improve child protection has been scrapped.

The £224m database, ContactPoint, was established by the previous Labour government to improve child protection following the Victoria Climbie child abuse scandal.

ContactPoint was launched last year and held the names, ages and addresses of all 11 million under-18s in England, together with their parents, schools and GPs' contact details.

Problems apart from the cost plagued the system, including delays, technical problems and security fears.

The new coalition government pledged to close the database, saying it was "disproportionate and unjustifiable".

"Ministers do not believe that a database, which holds details of all children in England and which is accessible to hundreds of thousands of people, is the right way to help vulnerable children," the government said.

The database is being destroyed "using government-approved security standards and processes".

Victoria Climbie, eight, died in 2000 after months of abuse.

The report into her death highlighted the need to improve information exchange between agencies working with vulnerable children.

Children's minister Tim Loughton said he was looking at establishing a new national service focusing on helping people find out who is working, or has worked, in another authority area with a child.

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"The gov is too far removed from child protection issues. I think that it is a waste of time, money and human resources to deal with enquiries after 'the horse has bolted'. Such a decision must be left to us professionals in the front line and always the target of blame when children are at risk. I am a school nurse and the problem professionals face is the high mobility of school age children and contactpoint is ideal in tracing children from where ever they go. This is not a political goal scoring' but a non-partisan issue" - Tsitsi Masukume, London

"The system needs improving, but was a useful tool; a contact point or quick directory to establish which services were already working with a child or young person. Who and how will agencies be able to coordinate this in the future efficiently?" - Sarah Day, East Sussex

"Yes, the site is too risky, and could make children more vulnerable" - Wynch, Loughton, Essex

"No, I am a community nurse with the health visiting team and I have children of my own and had no concerns with their information being shared" - Zoe Jackson, Nottingham