UK review after murders have prompted “fundamental changes” in protecting children

An independent national review of the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson found them not “isolated incidents” and suggested the child protection needed to “fundamentally change” in the United Kingdom.

Leading review team Annie HudsonThe chair of the Child Protection Practices Review Panel said that a child protection team consisting of police officers, social workers, and NHS staff should be set up in all areas.

32-year-old Emma Tustin was put in jail for life in December after Arthur (whose father Thomas Hughes was her boyfriend) was killed in Solihull near Birmingham. Two weeks later, Savannah Brockhill was convicted of murdering her girlfriend’s daughter, Star Hobson, in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Hudson said: “Arthur and Star have been horribly and ultimately fatally abused. But sadly, their individual stories are unique, but hundreds of children are seriously affected each year. “

Minister of Education Nadhim Zahawi ordered a national review and released the findings on Thursday.

Some social workers may underestimate the risks to Arthur and Star presented by Tustin and Brockwell being “given a social belief about women as caregivers.” Stated.

Epoch Times Photo
A 16-month-old Star Hobson dateless photo that died of a “totally devastating” injury at his home in Keighley, West Yorkshire in September 2020. (Distribution via West Yorkshire Police / PA)

The report also stated that there was a false early view that Thomas Hughes was the “father of protection” and, despite the opposite evidence, this was not disputed.

He also criticized social workers who “too easily accepted” the claims made by Savannah Brockhill and her girlfriend Frankie Smith that the concerns raised by relatives were rooted in homosexual aversion.

According to the report, concerns raised by relatives were generally ignored “too often”, were not properly investigated by police and social workers, and had problems with information sharing and inadequate decision-making. rice field.

The review also recommended that the government establish a national Child Protection Commission to better coordinate policies.

Epoch Times Photo
Photo of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes dateless family distribution file published December 2, 2021. (West Midlands Police)

Zahawi said: “Don’t waste your time learning from the results of this review. Enough. I established a new group of child protection ministers, the first immediate step in responding to these findings, and boldly later this year. It will make a fundamental difference in how to make good implementation plans and support better outcomes for the most vulnerable children. Family. “

He added: “Nothing is more tragic than the death of a child, but when the child dies as a result of abuse or negligence, it is incomprehensible. The deaths of Arthur Rabinjo Hughes and Star Hobson amaze the country, of behavior and change. It highlighted the urgent need. “

Zahawi also praised the dedication of social workers, saying: .. “

During the review, the panel interviewed approximately 80 social workers, police officers and other experts in Bradford, Birmingham and Solihull, looking at 1,500 reviews of similar cases.

Although he said that child protection work is often complicated, the system did not allow experts to break through the bureaucratic fog and “get to the truth about what children’s lives are like.”

Earlier this week, Nathaniel Pope was imprisoned for life for murdering his girlfriend’s son, Kemarni Watson Derby, and the boy’s mother, Alicia Watson, was convicted of causing or allowing Kemarni’s death. ..

And on Wednesday, Laura Castle was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a boy she wanted to adopt.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in crime, police and law, covering stories from a wide range of countries.

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