Councillor reprimanded for speaking out about confidential records found at Southgate Hall (From This Is Local London)
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Councillor Henry Lamprecht reprimanded for revealing name of officer investigating child abuse cases after data was found at Southgate Town Hall
An Enfield Councillor has been reprimanded after the name of an officer investigating a case of child abuse was made public.
Councillor Henry Lamprecht and Southgate MP David Burrowes found documents at Southgate Town Hall on October 2, 2012, about child abuse cases, deaths of children in care, medical records, mental health reports and financial accounts.
These include briefing notes about the care of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie, who died in 2000 after suffering sustained abuse from her guardians.
The discovery of the files was publicised by the Enfield Independent.
Another publication later published a copy of one of the letters, disclosing the officer’s name.
Following a complaint about his actions, a councillor conduct committee on Monday determined Cllr Lamprecht acted within his role as a councillor.
However, he was also found in breach of the council’s member code of conduct.
The committee agreed he had deliberately disclosed information of a very personal nature, which had come into his possession by means of his position as an elected member, to the media.
They also agreed that his lack of co-operation with the investigation meant that he had also breached this part of the code.
Cllr Lamprecht apologised for the officer’s name in the case being revealed to the press.
He added: “I want to do this [apologise] on behalf of myself and Enfield Council who failed to take the necessary steps to secure these documents.
“I take my share of the corporate responsibility and I sincerely hope that our councillors and in particular, officers from social services has also apologised for their failure to prevent her name being released.
He also stated that after finding the documents, he took them to the council’s chief executive.
He added: “I honestly believe I acted in the best interest of Enfield Council and its staff and in accordance of my duties as a councillor.
“The alternative scenarios could have been far worse. The building was open to anyone walking in off the street. If anyone else picked that file up and delivered it to the office of a newspaper, particularly a national newspaper, the exposure could have been far worse.”
However, Cllr Lamprecht also believed that the investigation was a "waste" of the council's money and that he was only doing his duty as a councillor.