THE leader of Staffordshire County Council has issued a statement in light of a high court ruling where the authority lost its bid for an injuction.
Staffordshire County Council went to court in a bid for an injunction to protect the identity of a child who had been taken into care, as the parents had named and posted footage of the child on the internet.
It argued that the naming of Staffordshire County Council and the social worker involved may risk identification of the child, but the judge did not accept this posed a significant risk.
He did however, rule in favour of what the council saw as ‘the important substance of our case’, which was that the identity of the child as it grows older and the child’s parents should not be published or broadcast, whether in the print or broadcast media or on any website
It also clarified that an injunction can be applied for against internationally hosted sites, such as Facebook, but enforcement would have to come from the court which has jurisdiction.
Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “The safety and well-being of children in Staffordshire is our number one concern and the key part of our application was that this child should not be identified on the internet or in the media as it grows older and the judge agreed with this.
“We make absolutely no apologies for acting in the interests of the children in our care and we would rather err on the side of caution where necessary.
“We also asked to prevent the identification of staff and the authority, not to protect ourselves, but because we believed there was a risk it could identify the child.
“It is important to explain that at no time was there any criticism from the judge of the county council for taking the child into care.
“We only take this course of action when there are significant concerns for the welfare of that child and to do that we must first provide evidence to the courts to obtain a care order from a judge.”