Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revealed: 210 Children Were Killed by Abuse in 16 Months

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revealed: 210 Children Were Killed by Abuse in 16 Months

Article excerpt

Byline: TIM ROSS

A TOTAL of 210 children, 21 of them babies, died of abuse or neglect in only 16 months in England, it was revealed today.

The "horrific" figure equivalent to three deaths a week was revealed by the schools and social work watchdog Ofsted to MPs on the Commons schools select committee who are investigating the Baby P tragedy.

MPs said they feared another Baby P after hearing of Ofsted's failure to police councils. They described the announcement by Michael Hart, head of Ofsted's children's department, that "something like 12 a month" were dying from abuse and neglect, as "the most horrific figures ever brought into the public domain".

Tory MP Graham Stuart said: "We are talking about more than three children every week in this country killed by abuse. That is a horrific statistic." Committee chairman, Labour MP Barry Sheerman, told the Ofsted officials: "You bring us the most horrific figures ever brought into the public domain & I am not confident at all that there isn't another Haringey waiting to happen." Earlier estimates had suggested that one child died from abuse every week or 10 days.

The new figure of 210 in 16 months represents a far higher rate than previously believed. Ofsted said it had been back over its records for the period to check the accuracy of the figures.

The revelation came amid a national outcry over the tragic case of Baby P in Haringey. Aged 17 months, he had more than 50 injuries, including a broken back when he was found dead in his cot in August last year.

He had been on Haringey's child protection register for nearly half his life, and was visited 60 times by health and social workers.

In October 2006, a full Ofsted inspection of Haringey warned there were problems recruiting enough social workers in the borough and expressed concerns over child protection. …

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