Nearly 50,000 'off the radar' children at risk of same fate as Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Asia's Tech News Daily

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes – West Midlands Police/PA

Almost 50,000 vulnerable children “dropped off the radar” of social services during the pandemic, The Telegraph can reveal, amid fears more could suffer a similar fate to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

The six-year-old boy was murdered by his father’s partner, Emma Tustin, 32, while his father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was convicted of his manslaughter.

Arthur was poisoned with salt, subjected to regular beatings, denied food and drink and made to stand for hours alone in the hallway, before finally suffering a fatal head injury at Tustin’s home in Solihull last year.

As the killers were sentenced to 29 and 21 years respectively, the case drew condemnation from the Prime Minister as well the Children’s Commissioner and charities, who demanded that more action be taken to avoid missed opportunities so that other “children do not drop off the radar”.

Emma Tustin – West Midlands Police/PA

However, analysis of government data by the Telegraph shows that the number of new referrals – a request for services to be provided by children’s social care – dropped by 45,220 between the years ending March 2020 and March 2021. The figure fell from 642,980 referrals to 597,760 – marking the lowest point since records began in 2013.

In 2019 – the most recent year that does not include any data impacted by the pandemic – the number of referrals was 650,930.

Figures 'driven by fall in referrals from schools'

The Department for Education said that the dramatic reduction “was driven by a fall in referrals from schools” and experts believe the missing children may still be in need of help, but have not been identified.

Schools were closed for months during the first lockdown, and even when they reopened on June 8th, Arthur did not return.

Tim Loughton, the former children’s minister, said the pandemic put Arthur and other children at increased risk.

“There was an increase in child abuse because of course they were off the radar. Cases such as this, that might have been detected better at school, or outside, it was all going on behind closed doors,” he said.

Analysis of the data also reveals that the number of re-referrals – where a child has been referred within 12 months of a previous referral – also decreased and is at its lowest point since 2013.

For the same period, the number of re-referrals dropped from 145,390 to 135,850.

The NSPCC described the figures as “stark” and concerns have been raised that tens of thousands more children could be “at risk of malevolent adults”.

'The hard truth is there are no simple solutions to prevention'

Dame Rachel de Souza DBE, children’s commissioner for England told The Telegraph: “I responded to the details of this horrific case as anyone would, with shock, and revulsion.

“We need systems that hear the voice of a child, a child clearly able to articulate the abuse they were suffering, and to be actually heard. We need repeated concerns raised by families to be taken seriously.

“The hard truth is there are no simple solutions to prevention, but Arthur deserves me as children's commissioner and the rest of the system to be asking the difficult questions and confronting the hard changes that may need to be made to protect any child that might be at risk of such malevolent adults, adults he had every right to expect to love and care for him.”

She added: “That a six-year-old should be killed after such sustained abuse, and that his killer, his stepmother, should have recorded his suffering, with not a shred of protection offered from his own father, indeed responsible for abuse himself, beggars belief.

“However, we can’t just ask ourselves ‘why did they do it?’, but ‘how were they able to?’”

'We all have to work together to make sure children do not drop off the radar'

Anna Edmundson, head of policy at the NSPCC, said: “We know from calls to our helpline during the first year of the pandemic that home wasn’t the safest place for some children. Some of those at risk of abuse were isolated during the lockdowns from the professionals who could act to safeguard them.

“We all have to work together to make sure children do not drop off the radar. It’s crucial that professionals, including police, social workers, teachers and healthcare are working effectively together to recognise and respond to the needs children who suffered harm during this period.

“The impact of the pandemic has also shown us more than ever that we all have a role to play in keeping children safe. We would urge anyone who has concerns about a child to speak with the relevant authorities or contact the NSPCC helpline, which provides free and confidential help and advice.”

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes – Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow/PA

The comments come as Boris Johnson described Arthur’s case as “appalling” and said that the Government would “leave absolutely no stone unturned to find out exactly what went wrong”.

Speaking on a by-election campaign visit in Oswestry, Shropshire, the Prime Minister said: “I just want to say on the tragic and appalling case of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, like many people I find it hard to read it, let alone to understand how people could behave like that to a defenceless little child.

“And I must say, I'm glad that justice had been done, in the sense that they have both received tough sentences, but that is absolutely no consolation, and what we've got to make sure now is we learn the lessons about that case, we look at exactly what happened, what else could have been done to protect that child.

“And it is early days, but I can tell you this, we will leave absolutely no stone unturned to find out exactly what went wrong in that appalling case.”

An independent serious case review – expected to be published next year – will look at the circumstances surrounding the “terrible tragedy”, including the actions of Solihull Council's social services.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


The Love Songs of WEB Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers review – desires of the downtrodden

The author Zora Neale Hurston once joked: “I am the only negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother’s side was not an Indian chief.” In part, Hurston ... Read more »

Tens of thousands without power as winter storm sweeps through south-east of US

Tens of thousands were left without power when a winter storm made up of ice, high winds and snow battered the south-east of the US. Governors of Georgia, Virginia, North ... Read more »

New law declares Carcar City a heritage zone

President Rodrigo Duterte enacted into law a measure declaring Carcar City in Cebu a heritage zone. Signed by the Chief Executive on January 14, 2022, Republic Act 11644 ensures “the ... Read more »

Sara Duterte-Carpio asks supporters: Let's pray with Bongbong Marcos

© Philippines Daily Inquirer MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has asked her supporters to offer prayers for her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, who ... Read more »

What should I do about the gaps in my state pension record that the official website says it is still 'checking'? Steve Webb replies

I’ve been on the Government gateway site for a few years now, to check my state pension. I have a few years that say ‘you didn’t pay enough National Insurance ... Read more »

China cuts rates as economy slows; Credit Suisse chairman resigns over Covid-19 breaches – business live

LIVE – Updated at 07:34 Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news. Horta-Osório regrets ‘difficulties’ following personal actions 07:34 Antonio Horta-Osório, who is well-known in the UK following ... Read more »

We want to keep our current flat as a buy-to-let investment and move to a new home: Do we need to pay the second home stamp duty surcharge?

My wife and I are in the process of buying a new home, but are struggling to sell our current flat.  Instead of taking another 10 per cent off the ... Read more »

‘Christmas was awful': on the Omicron frontline at the Royal Preston hospital

After nearly two years on the Covid frontline, there is one image that haunts Prof Mohammed Munavvar. It is of a visit to Preston cemetery, where a friend had been ... Read more »

Covid booster jabs rolled out to eligible 12 to 15-years-olds from Monday

Clinically vulnerable 12 to 15-years-olds who are most at risk from coronavirus will be able to get their Covid booster jab from Monday. © PA Wire Boosters Around 500 children ... Read more »

Son of missing woman asks federal government for help finding her

Sue Borries’ son, Brandon, has pleaded with the federal government for help in tracking the missing teacher down. Brandon Borries Brandon Borries’ mother has been missing since she was involved ... Read more »

We 'signed' Frenkie de Jong for Arsenal in January and Mikel Arteta's side improved

Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong has recently revealed his admiration for the Gunners, with the Dutch midfielder linked with a transfer in the January window. Barcelona find themselves buried in ... Read more »

‘I have no intention of getting infected': understanding Omicron's severity

Leaders in the US have struck a pessimistic tone about the Covid-19 pandemic in recent weeks amid rapid spread of the Omicron variant. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Étienne ... Read more »

Thomas Tuchel already knows four more Bundesliga targets for Chelsea after Jude Bellingham

Chelsea are never afraid of dipping into the January transfer market. And with this summer expected to be one of the more hectic windows, the Blues could skip the queue ... Read more »

Thibaut Courtois hailed as ‘world's best goalkeeper' after magnificent penalty save v Athletic Bilbao

Is Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois currently the world’s best goalkeeper? The Belgium international, 29, has been outstanding for Los Blancos over the past couple of seasons and played a key ... Read more »

Without Novak Djokovic, Australian Open offers a great chance for 'Next Gen' to prove themselves

Last year’s US Open signalled a changing of the guard in tennis, and not only because of Emma Raducanu’s shock victory. It was also the first major won by one ... Read more »

IPL 2022: Will Shreyas Iyer captain Virat Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore this season?

© Provided by Zee News Former Delhi Capitals and Mumbai batter Shreyas Iyer made a sensational debut in Test cricket against New Zealand last year. Iyer was extremely unlucky not ... Read more »

Warzone players discover new premium skin is making them miss

© Provided by Dot Esports Over the weekend, Call of Duty players have been encountering some in-game issues that are causing them to miss their shots despite being perfectly aimed. ... Read more »

Celebrity birthdays for Jan. 17

Celebrity Birthdays for Jan. 17:   Actor James Earl Jones is 91. Talk show host Maury Povich is 83. Singer Chris Montez is 80. French singer-songwriter Francoise Hardy is 78. Singer ... Read more »

Portsmouth man makes transfer claim

© Provided by Football League World World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – Group E – Wales v Belgium Portsmouth midfielder Joe Morrell has told The News that both he and ... Read more »

RAPO19 titled The Warrior: Ram Pothineni dons cop avatar in the intense first look

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ram Pothineni will next be seen in an action entertainer, tentatively called RAPO19. This much-awaited project, which is being helmed by filmmaker N Lingusamy has been ... Read more »

London transport: Hundreds more trains cut over staff shortages because of Covid

Hundreds more daily train services, including tens from London, are being cut next week over pandemic-related staff shortages. Avanti West Coast, c2c, East Midlands Railway and South Western Railway are ... Read more »

International Hot and Spicy Day: These foods can help burn calories

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Each year on January 16, International Hot and Spicy Food Day celebrates all the delicious hot and spicy foods around the world. Every country ... Read more »

‘West Side Story' star Ariana DeBose makes ‘SNL' hosting debut

“It is great to be here representing not only the Latino community as an Afro-Latina, but also the Broadway community,” DeBose said during her opening monologue Ariana DeBose’s stardom continues ... Read more »

Tonga volcano: Second underwater eruption detected sparking fresh tsunami fears

Another huge eruption has struck Tonga’s underwater volcano that had already exploded in a blast that was visible from space, say reports. And fears are growing over a missing British ... Read more »

Virals: Liverpool interested in RB Leipzig winger Christopher Nkunku

© Matthias Hangst/Getty Images Sport VfB Stuttgart v RB Leipzig – Bundesliga Liverpool have reportedly identified RB Leipzig winger Christopher Nkunku as the ‘perfect solution’ to replace Sadio Mane in the ... Read more »

Video: Winter storm brings FOUR tornadoes to Florida, with twisters that hit speeds of 118mph injuring four, destroying at least 165 homes and flipping semi on freeway

Read more »

Leigh Griffiths and his multiple Celtic mistakes as Kris Commons lifts lid on striker's fall from grace

Former Celtic star Kris Commons believes Leigh Griffiths is now paying the price for failing to live the life of an elite football player. The 31-year-old’s career at Parkhead is ... Read more »

No ‘Sacred Games 3': Anurag Kashyap Slams Scamster Casting 'Females Okay With Bold Scenes'

© Provided by MensXP After the huge success of Sacred Games, the Netflix series returned with its second season in 2019. Sacred Games 2 received a mixed response from viewers ... Read more »

Pundit lauds 'absolutely outstanding' West Ham ace Jarrod Bowen

© Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Sport West Ham United v Leeds United – Premier League West Ham may have succumbed to a damaging 3-2 defeat at the hands of Leeds United ... Read more »

JSE could start week positively after drop as oil rallies

© Provided by Business Live The JSE could rebound on Monday after the all share index dropped 1% on Friday, catching its breath after record highs. Brent crude traded at ... Read more »

Allu Arjun's heartwarming reaction to Kamal Haasan watching 'Pushpa: The Rise' goes viral

© Provided by DNA After emerging as the highest-grossing film in India in 2021, the Telugu blockbuster ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ continues to amaze stars and celebrities across India. Arjun Kapoor, ... Read more »

KZN police trying to find motive behind drive-by shooting that left six dead

© SAPS. FILE: JOHANNESBURG – KwaZulu-Natal authorities are still trying to establish the motive behind a drive-by shooting in the province in which six young men were killed. Police said ... Read more »

Alia Bhatt and Shaheen Bhatt 'beam' with joy in THIS sunkissed photo

© Provided by Pinkvilla Alia Bhatt is not only a superb actress but also a protective sister when it comes to Shaheen Bhatt. Their pictures on social media often give ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Shamita Shetty, Nishant Bhat and others get emotional as Rajiv Adatia unveils family messages

© Provided by Jagran English New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: Bigg Boss 15 viewers are going to witness an emotional episode tonight as the contestants are going to get ... Read more »

Leicester's Steve Borthwick: 'Jack Carty was incredible. He is a fantastic player'

THERE WERE TIMES on Saturday, as Steve Borthwick analysed his side’s win over Connacht, when he sounded like a sales rep for Failté Ireland as much as a rugby coach. ... Read more »

Attack, attack, attack: Republicans drive to make Biden the bogeyman

It seemed that Joe Biden would be bad for business in “Make America great again” world. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Reuters/Alamy In theory, the US president, a white ... Read more »

Beijing faces major test as first Omicron case detected weeks before Olympics

At an office building in China’s capital on Sunday, Covid control personnel lugged boxes of pillows and bedding through the closely guarded entrance for workers stuck inside, preparing for what ... Read more »

Fünf Fragen zum Abgang von António Horta-Osório und zur Wahl von Axel Lehmann

Der rasche Führungswechsel bei der Credit Suisse lässt viele Fragen offen. Die drängendste lautet: Was lief eigentlich hinter den Kulissen?   Ab sofort ist Axel Lehmann neuer Präsident  der Credit ... Read more »

3 Major Takeaways From ONE: HEAVY HITTERS

© ONE Championship Saygid Izagakhmaev defeated James Nakashima at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS. ONE: HEAVY HITTERS set the tone for 2022 with a phenomenal eight-bout card live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium ... Read more »

MRS diiktiraf badan pelesenan muzik rasmi di Sabah, kata menteri

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Alexander Nanta Linggi ketika berucap pada Majlis Apresiasi Kepenggunaan Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna di Kota Kinabalu, malam tadi. KOTA KINABALU: ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic