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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

'Chances missed' to help victims

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Abid Mohammed Saddique, 27, of Normanton, Derby, one of the leaders of a gang of men which has been convicted of a catalogue of offences against vulnerable girls

As a gang of men were convicted of offences against vulnerable girls, an independent inquiry said agencies “missed opportunities” to help girls involved in the case.

After the abuse emerged in Operation Retriever, a serious case review was carried out by the Derby Safeguarding Children Board into two of the victims who were in local authority care.

Multi-agency reviews were also carried out into the 25 other girls involved, incorporated into the review.

The review’s executive summary, published on Thursday, said there were “missed opportunities” to help all of the women.

It said although it was difficult to know whether the sexual exploitation could have been predicted for the two girls in care, their background meant it was predictable they would become vulnerable adolescents at risk of abuse.

“Had there been earlier, concerted intervention in their lives to address their unmet needs, it is likely that they would have been less vulnerable as adolescents and therefore less likely to be abused,” it said.

“These conclusions are mirrored in the findings from the multi-agency reviews. There were missed opportunities to assess significant concerns in relation to the other young women and comprehensive assessments were not completed.

“When they were completed, the quality of assessments was frequently poor, with little involvement of the young person and their family, and all the relevant agencies.”

The review said the two girls, referred to as YP1 and YP2, were vulnerable because of early life experiences, including inconsistent parents and neglect. As they became adolescents, again there were “missed opportunities to intervene”.

It added: “A number of agencies were involved and worked hard within their own sphere to help YP1 and YP2. There is, however, little evidence of agencies working together to co-ordinate actions and create a comprehensive picture of the lives of these two young women.”

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