Baby P- Justice and Protection for our children.
On the 25/02/2000 Victoria Climbie died after years of abuse at the hands of her guardians. Lord Laming's subsequent inquiry and report made 108 recommendations for reforms in relation to child protection and the involved agencies. He reported that 'The failure to protect Victoria was lamentable. Tragically, it required nothing more than basic good practice being put into action. This never happened." -(Lord Laming, Crown Copyright 2003). Four years after this report on 03/08/2007, 17 month old Baby P, met a cruel and lonely death after months of horrific torture, abuse and neglect at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and a lodger. Despite welfare agencies involved in his case that identified baby p to be at risk and visited him over 60 times, they failed to protect him and take him into care. These were not accidents, these children were known to be at risk; these children should never have been left to die so cruelly. How many other children will meet the same fate before real reforms and good practice materialise We know these are not isolated incidents; Ofsted report four children die each week as a result of child abuse/neglect. We are tired of negligence and systematic failure of our most vulnerable members of society. We want child protection at the top of the political agenda. No more excuses, child abuse must be taken seriously. We call for independent reviews and reforms that: � Identify and rectify the inadequacies in child protection policy and practice that are responsible for the death of baby P, Victoria Climbie and others like them. � Better support and complaints procedures for professionals involved in child protection who identify and report malpractice and negligence within the system. � Increased funding for children's services -the tax payer is tired of footing the bill for the protection and subsistence of child killers and other wasted causes whilst children's services remain overstretched and under-resourced. Furthermore, we demand justice for child abusers and child killers -real justice. It is an insult to children's suffering that their killers and abusers are afforded more human rights and protection than they themselves have received. It is an even greater disgrace that these offenders are set free to re-offend and claim further victims. History has shown this to be a reality time and time again at the price of innocent lives. We believe the protection of children must outweigh the freedom of offenders so that more innocent lives are spared. We believe that any system that directly or indirectly, produces outcomes that privilege child offenders over their victims or other children is fundamentally flawed and in need of major review and reform. Sentences that reward offenders with short spells in prison, 24 hour protection and new identities on their release is not punishment and it certainly does not fit the crime. We call for reforms in criminal justice legislation and a public referendum on justice for child offenders that addresses: � Child offender sentencing -significantly harsher, longer, mandatory sentencing for child offenders. � No parole. � For child killers and torturers -life sentences whereby life means life. We, the undersigned, petition the Government to address the aforementioned and acknowledge societies demands for better child protection and justice. Our children deserve better. In memory of Victoria, Baby P and all other children that have, and continue, to suffer cruelly at the hands of those who should know better and a society that has failed them. It is time for change.