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Public have no faith in protection of children

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Public faith in the safeguarding of vulnerable children is damaged and will not be repaired until tragedies such as the murder of Ryan Lovell-Hancox are eradicated, an MP said today.

Public faith in the safeguarding of vulnerable children is damaged and will not be repaired until tragedies such as the murder of Ryan Lovell-Hancox are eradicated, an MP said today.

Pat McFadden said the three-year-old's death at a squalid flat in Bilston was "truly heartbreaking", adding: "We have simply got to do a better job".

A damning report revealed yesterday found Ryan was let down by Wolverhampton City Council, housing officials, probation staff and police.

Experts have made 60 recommendations in a bid to stop another child dying needlessly. Ryan was abused by teenager Kayley Boleyn and her boyfriend Christopher Taylor, then aged 23, at a bedsit in Slim Avenue, Bradley.

He died on Christmas Eve 2008 with more than 50 injury marks on his body.

Mr McFadden said it was time for actions to speak louder than words.

"The public are sceptical of the phrase 'lessons will be learned'," he said. "We have seen these failings in a number of cases now.

"As a country we have got to do a better job of protecting vulnerable children.

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"It's truly heartbreaking that a young child died in these circumstances. The report's findings paint a picture of agencies not talking to one another, warning signs going unheeded and poorly-trained staff being placed in positions of huge responsibility."

Ryan's single mother Amy Hancox had struck a deal with her distant cousin Boleyn to pay her up to £20 a week to look after her son because she was struggling.

The Probation Service failed to record that Taylor was a risk to children.

Police also "lost" details of a 2005 assault by Boleyn on one of her siblings.

Today Chief Insp Julian Harper, head of Wolverhampton's Public Protection Unit, said: "Our systems and processes are very different now than in 2005 following a number of changes in the way we operate.

"The public can be reassured that when they make a referral it is actioned swiftly, professionally and appropriately."

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