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Children's services privacy notice

Find out how Westminster City Council Children’s Services collect and use personal information about you and your family.

Youth Offending Team

Purpose for processing your information

The Westminster Youth Offending Team (YOT) works with children and young people aged 10-17 years who have attended court and been given a statutory court order. We have legal obligations to support young people (and their families) within the criminal justice system and reduce youth offending, as well as to address problems and factors that lead to criminal offending behaviour. 

The YOT is a multi-agency team which is provided to meet the requirements of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The team is based in the council's Children’s Service Department and includes representatives from Children’s Services, police, probation, education and health who are seconded into the team.

In order to meet our legal obligations, we need to collect personal data. This help us work with you and to understand and plan services through an offending prevention programme as part of a voluntary arrangement or a statutory order. The team assesses the young people and their families referred to them and will either work directly with them or link them to other services, should they need more specialist help or interventions.

The Data Protection Act 2018 states that before we collect your personal data we must have a lawful basis or reason. There are only 6 permissible reasons and we must have at least one of these reasons. For the YOS we are relying on GDPR 6(1)(c) where processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the council must comply. 

The YOT is committed to ensuring privacy and security of data collected, stored and processed. This Privacy Notice explains:

  • the data we collect and its purpose
  • who will see your data
  • how long your data is kept
  • how we store your data
  • your rights

We collect the following information

We work closely with partner organisations and share information with them so that we can identify and support young people who are experiencing difficulties, ensuring they receive coordinated help and support. We collect your information in a number of ways including by email, letter, telephone and face to face interviews or meetings. We collect and hold the following information in relation to young people and their families, including that of parents/carers, siblings and any close relatives:

  • personal data (names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone and email contact details, NHS numbers, unique pupil numbers)
  • characteristics (gender, ethnicity, languages spoken, religious beliefs), health needs or problems (physical and emotional), medical history, any disabilities, immigration status
  • educational data including schools attended, levels of attendance, attainment and achievement, details of any special educational needs and any exclusions
  • data regarding criminal offences and court appearances and outcomes
  • details of witnesses or victims of crime
  • information regarding young peoples’ needs and support provided (referrals and assessments, details of any statutory plans such as Child Protection Plans and/or being “looked after”
  • details of any wider health or social care help that family members receive
  • documents received by the YOT including referrals and reports from other professionals

Some of the data that we collect is known as “special category”. We need an additional lawful basis to collect this information. This might include information about your ethnicity or sexuality and may be used for equality monitoring in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. We rely on GDPR Article 9(2)(i) “processing is necessary for reasons of public interest” to collect this aspect of your data.

The nature of our services means that we need to collect data about criminal offences. In order to collect this we must comply with GDPR Article 10. The council meets this requirement.
This data is used to assist the YOT to carry out its statutory functions and duties to prevent and reduce offending and re-offending as well as to increase levels of confidence of victims and the wider community that youth offending is being effectively addressed. The data is needed to work effectively with young people and to prevent them from offending. It enables the provision of support for those who are:

  • bailed from courts
  • supervised on formal Court Orders, pre-Court Orders or out of court disposals
  • remanded into youth detention accommodation
  • given custodial sentences

Data is also needed to enable the YOT to comply with the requirements to provide statistics regarding levels of activity and effectiveness in addressing and reducing youth offending for Government departments such as the Home Office and Youth Justice Board. The YOT is required to provide and contribute to reports for local agencies and Council boards such as the Youth Crime Prevention Partnership, Council Scrutiny Committees and the Public Health department. This is to inform evaluations of current services and to help plan for future services to meet local need.

Your personal information is only used for a specified purpose(s) (see “Purpose for processing your information” above) but if we intend to use it for any other new purposes we will normally ask you first. For instance in some cases, the Council may wish to use your information for another purpose such as in relation to improving and developing services, or to prevent or detect fraud.  In any event our processing will always have a demonstrable lawful basis. Where practicable and reasonable we will always seek to inform you of any significant proposed changes to how we process or intend to process your personal data, in order to ensure full transparency over how we handle your information.

Who the information is shared with

We share and request the minimum amount of personal data and personal information to and from the following organisations:

  • other council teams including Family Services, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Supporting Families programme, Anti-Social Behaviour/Community Safety teams, Integrated Gangs Unit, Housing, Education and Special Educational Needs teams, Legal Services. This is so that the teams can provide information to assist in YOT assessments of what young people and their families need as well as enabling the teams to carry out specific duties regarding youth offending and wider statutory roles in relation to supporting residents
  • other Youth Offending Services
  • YOT volunteers
  • Borough Police and the Metropolitan Police Service
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Youth Justice Board
  • Ministry of Justice
  • National Probation Service
  • HM Courts and Tribunal Service
  • lawyers (for the local authority and also for young people if you have instructed one to represent you)
  • the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • Drug and Alcohol support services
  • schools and other education providers

The following are the legal bases under the General Data Protection Regulations on which we rely to process your personal and special category data:

  • where the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing of personal data for one or more specific purposes. Where consent to share your information is required, we will specify why the sharing of this information is necessary (GDPR 6(1)(a))
  • where compliance with legal and statutory obligations is required, consent is not needed. 6(1)(c). This will be the case where:
    • the YOT has a statutory responsibility to process personal data as part of its role in preventing and reducing offending or increasing confidence of victims and the wider community that youth offending is being effectively addressed
    • the behaviour of individuals constitutes a serious risk of harm to the individual or to others (6(1)(d))
    • processing is needed for legal proceedings, advice or for establishing, exercising or defending legal rights
  • where processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller (6(1)(e).
  • where there is a contract for the supply of services entered into with partners (6(1)(b))
  • we do not share personal or special category data about you or anyone else without agreement unless the law or policies allow this

Such data sharing enables the YOT to meet statutory obligations resulting from the following and other legislation:

  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  • Legal Aid and Sentencing of Offenders Act 2012
  • Health and Social Care Act 2012
  • Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015
  • Education Regulations 2015
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Care Act 2014
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Mental Health Act 1983
  • Local Safeguarding Childrens and Adults Boards Regulations 2006
  • Localism Act 2011
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Equality Act 2010

How long do we keep your information?

Your personal data will not be retained for any longer than is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected. Data will generally be held for a range of periods of time depending on the nature of the information and the need to retain more sensitive data for longer periods. Retention periods are informed by policies of the Youth Justice Board.

However, under the current restrictions of the Goddard Enquiry no children’s records should be deleted from systems until further guidance has been issued by the Enquiry.

Once the restriction has been removed Westminster City Council will ensure a retention period is agreed and implemented.

Data will be held on paper or electronically in a secure way and will only be available to those who have a right to see this information.

Your Rights and Access to your information

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. 

General Data Protection Regulations also give you additional rights about the information we hold about you and how we use it. You have a right to:

  • object to and restrict further processing of your data; however, this may affect service delivery to you
  • request to have your data deleted where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing and provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it
  • request your data to be rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • have your data transferred or copied should you move to another authority
  • not to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

The Youth Offending Team are legally processing your data under the requirements of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Offender Management Act 2007. As such there is no legal right to refuse processing as we are legitimately required to do so by UK law.

Information about how to submit a subject access request

If you have any concerns

If you have any questions about this privacy statement or data protection issues generally, you can email: [email protected].

If you think we may not have complied with our obligations regarding the handling of your personal information and should you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s response, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Report a concern by visiting the ICO website

Changes in your circumstances

You must notify us immediately if there are any changes in your circumstances and personal details in order for us to maintain an accurate and up to date record of your information. 

Published: 29 December 2020

Last updated: 7 January 2021