London, Aug 26 : A flagship database intended to protect every child in the United Kingdom will be used by police to hunt for evidence of crime in a shocking extension of its original purpose.
ContactPoint will include the names, ages and addresses of all 11 million under-18s in England as well as information on their parents, GPs, schools and support services such as social workers, The Telegraph reported.
The 224 million pound computer system was announced in the wake of the death of Victoria Climbie, who was abused and then murdered after a string of missed opportunities to intervene by the authorities, as a way to connect the different services dealing with children.
It has always been portrayed as a way for professionals to find out which other agencies are working with a particular child, to make their work easier and provide a better service for young people.
However, it has now emerged that police officers, council staff, head teachers, doctors and care workers will use the records to search for evidence of criminality and wrongdoing to help them launch prosecutions against those on the database - even long after they have reached adulthood.
It comes amid growing concern about the increasing criminalisation of Britain's youth and the extent of the country's surveillance society.
Only this week a report warned that teenagers were being dragged into the criminal justice system rather than being given an old-fashioned ticking-off, while it has also been disclosed that the DNA profiles of almost 40,000 innocent children are now being kept on the national database.
An estimated 330,000 people will have access to the data stored on ContactPoint, which is due to launch this autumn despite fears the Government's poor record on data security will mean it puts children at risk from pedophiles.
The records will be updated until children turn 18 then kept in an archive for six years before being destroyed, meaning they can be accessed until a young person reaches 24.
Those who have learning difficulties or who are in care will remain on the live system until they turn 25, so their archived records will be available into their 30s.
ContactPoint will be put into use by 17 councils in the North West in October and then rolled out across the country.