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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19319: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many people in the Lothian region in each year since 2007 have been (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of child abuse arising from Munchausen by proxy syndrome, or fabricating or inducing illness, and what information it has regarding how many children in each local authority area in the region were removed from their families or place of residence as a result of civil processes following the allegations.



Answered by: Maree Todd 6 November 2018

Scottish Government data is not available for individual local authorities or regions with reference to Munchausen by proxy syndrome or fabricated or induced illness (FII).

The offence of child abuse arising from FII is a criminal offence under Section 12 (schedule 1) (“Cruelty to persons under 16”) of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937. The table below shows the total number of prosecutions in Scotland under section 12 schedule 1 from 2007 to 2017:

Table of Information has been filed with SPICe under BIB Number: 60209

It is not possible to accurately identify how many of the above prosecutions are related to the offence of child abuse arising from FII as national statistics do not go into that level of detail.

Similarly, figures are not available on the number of children removed from their families or carers as result of prosecution of the offence child abuse arising from FII. The Children’s Social Work Statistics annual publication details the number of children and young people looked after at 31 July for each calendar year.

The number of children and young people in Scotland who were referred to the Scottish Children’s Reporter in 2017-2018 on the grounds they are a victim of a Schedule 1 offence can be found within the Statistical Analysis 2017-18 report under Table 1.4.

The Scottish Government published National Child Protection Guidance in 2014 which includes practitioner guidance on FII. The publication ‘ Inter-agency Child Protection Procedures Edinburgh and the Lothians’ provides localised guidelines for practitioners in the Lothian area.