North Lanarkshire systems under fire

A systemic breakdown between North Lanarkshire Council and other
agencies allowed a convicted sex offender to sexually abuse a
two-year-old girl two months after his release from jail.

The damning verdict of the Social Work Inspection Agency on
agencies’ handling of James Campbell calls for national protocols
for sex offender management.

Campbell abducted and attempted to rape the toddler in July 2004,
two months after leaving prison on an extended sentence for the
attempted rape of a 91-year-old woman.

Although it does not say Campbell would not have committed the
offence had agencies acted properly, the report says they failed to
mitigate the risk of him re-offending.

Despite requests from the prison the council did not allocate a
supervising social worker to handle Campbell during his sentence.
The council also released Campbell into a hostel for homeless
people where no one knew he was a sex offender.

Council chief executive Gavin Whitefield admitted the case
highlighted weaknesses in the council’s systems and processes.

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