A new system allowing police forces to share information is to be launched to help police and social workers improve child protection.

It is hoped, in the wake of the death of toddler Brandon Muir and the conviction of his mother's boyfriend, that the new package will allow early detection of potentially dangerous changes to a child's circumstances.

The Vulnerable Persons System will enable information held by a police force to be shared electronically with other forces and eventually be accessible by social work and other concerned agencies. Education secretary Fiona Hyslop announced £1.5m funding for the system yesterday, with the new network expected to be fully developed and ready later this year.

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Ms Hyslop, said: "Child protection is everybody's business and we all have a duty to look out for young people and speak up if we have concerns about their welfare.

"The sickening death of little Brandon Muir has been a terrible reminder to us all why safeguards for Scotland's children are so important.

"His killer only moved into the family home weeks before, showing how quickly circumstances can change and why it's vital agencies get the most up-to-date information possible."

Deputy Chief Constable, Neil Richardson, chairman of ACPOS Information Management Project, said: "Recent events surrounding domestic and child abuse have continued to focus our attention on the sharing of information and we do recognise the need to ensure that this information is kept securely.

"Understanding a vulnerable person's needs and identification of the escalating risk gives us opportunities to make the earliest intervention in partnership with our colleagues in social services, education and health."

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