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July 29, 2012 permalink
Christopher Booker reports on a girl taken from her mother by social services for no real reason. The girl ran away back to her mother. Complying with the law, the mother returned the girl to her legal custodian the next day and was charged with kidnapping.
A mother is charged with kidnapping after returning a runaway daughter to care
Why are police so eager and aggressive in their co-operation with social workers?
Not least of the many disturbing features of the epidemic of child-snatching by social services, which is now breaking all records, is the extraordinarily compliant co-operation given by the police.
Two weeks ago, an eight-year-old girl was wandering the streets “somewhere In London”, having run away from her care home for the fourth time. Her parents having separated, for seven years she had lived happily with her mother. But when it was suggested that she should see her father again, she was overheard at school saying that he had once punched her in the head. This was reported to the social workers, who put her in a foster home, on the all-too-familiar grounds that she faced “the potential risk of emotional harm” if she stayed with her mother, who had never harmed her in any way.
In the foster home, desperate to be reunited with her mother, she was so rebellious that she was put in a care home, where she was relentlessly bullied and abused by older inmates. A photographic record shows many injuries, including a 10in burn from a kettle.
When she escaped for the fourth time, she was spotted in the street late in the evening by a friend of the family, who called her mother. The mother rushed to her side and rang the police to say she would look after her distraught daughter at a friend’s house overnight and return her next day to the care home. At 4am, neighbours near the mother’s house were woken by the sound of nine policemen smashing down the door of the family home, searching in vain for the girl.
When the mother returned her to the care home later that day, as promised, social workers were alerted. The police arrived to arrest her, held her in custody for 10 hours, then charged her with trying to kidnap her daughter. Released on bail, she faces trial in October.
The girl was then moved to a new foster home in the area where her mother lives. On Thursday, the mother happened to see her daughter in the street, looking unkempt and miserable, accompanied by the new foster carer. While the mother attempted to comfort her desperate daughter, the carer rang social workers on her mobile and told the mother she must leave the scene and not contact her daughter again.
All this took place in the name of the Children Act, which, as judges repeatedly like to intone, makes the interests of the child paramount. As I have observed before, were Dickens living today he might well make the workings of our “child protection” system the theme of one of his most searing novels.
But again, why are the police so unquestioning and so aggressive in the support they give to this system? It is a mystery for which I have so far been given no rational explanation.
Source: Telegraph (UK)