An inquiry into the way in which information on Ian Huntley’s
background was kept and used by the police has been announced by
the home secretary, David Blunkett.
The inquiry will examine the effectiveness of intelligence and
vetting practices carried out by Cambridgeshire and Humberside
police into previous allegations made against Huntley.
North East Lincolnshire Area Child Protection Committee will also
be commissioning a serious case review to look at how agencies
fulfilled their duties to protect children.
During the 1990s, social workers from North East Lincolnshire
Council were aware of Huntley’s involvement in four cases of
underage sexual relations when he was living in Grimsby and an
alleged indecent assault on an 11-year-old girl. But in each case
the girls did not want to make a complaint.
Four of the girls, one of whom was 13 and the others 15, regarded
Huntley as their boyfriend. The indecent assault allegation was
investigated by the police in 1998, but no prosecution
Darren Shaw, deputy director of child care for North East
Lincolnshire Council, said that once the girls decided not to
complain there was nothing else the social workers could do apart
from recommend they see a GP.
He said Humberside police had been informed of each case, except
one involving a 15-year-old girl that was considered to be based on
rumour, and would have been expected to look into Huntley’s past.
Each case was dealt with by a different social worker.
“Even with the benefit of hindsight there is nothing we could have
done differently,” Shaw said. “The responsibility of the children’s
service is to help and support children. The council had no power
to take action in relation to Huntley.”
A spokesperson for Humberside police said all investigations and
decisions had been reassessed and in each case were found to be in
accordance with national guidelines.
Huntley was given a double life sentence at the Old Bailey last
month for the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica
His former girlfriend, Maxine Carr, was cleared of assisting an
offender, but was jailed for three and a half years for conspiring
to pervert the course of justice.