Edinburgh Study findings support changes to Enhanced Disclosure system in Scotland

The event, hosted by Robin Harper MSP, was attended by practitioners, policy makers and academics from across Scotland. Professor Lesley McAra began the discussion by presenting powerful findings from the Edinburgh Study on the dangers of using 'soft' information held by the police on suspects and disclosing offences committed while under the age of 16 and admitted at children's hearings. She concluded that more consideration needed to be taken of the nature, context and pattern of individual offending to understand levels of future risk. She also pointed out that disclosure of one-off or episodic violent offences or underage sexual activity ran the risk of stigmatising and labelling young people, seriously damaging their later life chances.

The Scottish Child Law Centre facilitated a discussion on the impact of enhanced disclosures on young people's future life chances on the 14th of December at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

The event, hosted by Robin Harper MSP, was attended by practitioners, policy makers and academics from across Scotland. Professor Lesley McAra began the discussion by presenting powerful findings from the Edinburgh Study on the dangers of using 'soft' information held by the police on suspects and disclosing offences committed while under the age of 16 and admitted at children's hearings. She concluded that more consideration needed to be taken of the nature, context and pattern of individual offending to understand levels of future risk. She also pointed out that disclosure of one-off or episodic violent offences or underage sexual activity ran the risk of stigmatising and labelling young people, seriously damaging their later life chances.

Other speakers contributing to the debate included Lothian and Borders Police Chief Constable David Strang, Sheriff Brian Kearney, Malcolm Schaffer from the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration and Morag Driscoll of the Scottish Child Law Centre.

Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime