Lord Laming, chairperson of the Victoria Climbie Inquiry, has
attacked the role of area child protection committees.
Laming said that because ACPCs’ powers were not statutorily
enforceable, the quality of their work varied too much across the
And he warned that reorganisations within the agencies that are
members of the committees – including frequent changes of personnel
– had led to their work becoming unreliable.
“We need a structure with more teeth and power; one which will not
whitewash what happens, but will look after the interests of
children. Too often, getting the right people in the right place at
the right time proves too difficult to accomplish,” he said.
“People come to ACPCs to agree the terms of an inquiry into a
child’s death, then gradually water down their conclusions until
they get the minimum level of agreement,” added Laming.
He also said that the child protection register was not a panacea
because professionals could place children on it but then fail to
meet their needs.