Agencies blasted in Huntley case review

    Vulnerable young women involved in inappropriate relationships with
    Soham murderer Ian Huntley in the 1990s were badly failed by
    agencies that should have protected them.

    A serious case review, published last week, says “not many people
    come out of the events we have described with a great deal of
    credit” and criticises the care offered to the girls as “less than

    The review looked at how agencies dealt with allegations involving
    Huntley and seven girls. Huntley is now serving life for the murder
    of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

    The report was written by Sir Christopher Kelly, former permanent
    secretary at the Department of Health, and was commissioned by the
    North East Lincolnshire area child protection committee.

    Kelly makes 12 recommendations, nine of which cover practice in
    North East Lincolnshire Council, including supervision
    arrangements, particularly of inexperienced or unqualified staff.

    He says there should be better recognition that asking people to
    self-refer is bad practice.

    Kelly also recommended that the Department for Education and Skills
    review the advice in the inter-agency child welfare guide, Working
    Together, to make it clear that victims of extra-familial abuse,
    including 16 and 17 year olds, may require a service as children in

    The DfES should also consider guidance covering retention of
    education and social services files relating to children where
    child protection issues are raised, and the development of an
    electronic system to allow child care records to be searched for
    the names of alleged offenders.

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