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Child murder serious case review calls for national exploitation response system

The author of a serious case review has called for a national system for responding to children who are arrested and detained away from their home areas.

The review follows the murder of Jaden Moodie, a 14 year old boy who was knocked off his moped and stabbed to death in east London in January 2019. Three months earlier Jaden had been found with an older boy in a county lines flat in Bournemouth with class A drugs, a mobile phone and £325 in cash.

After being interviewed by Dorset Police, Jaden was escorted by officers back to London where he was staying with his grandmother but they did not involve specialist child exploitation workers.

Whilst the council began to assess his needs for help and protection as a result of the incident the report states that at the time “the council and its partners did not have enough information to understand the full extent of his vulnerability to criminal exploitation”.

The report states “Communication between the authorities in Bournemouth and Waltham Forest was incomplete and frustrating to all involved. Very little information was transmitted back to Waltham Forest from Bournemouth and at least one key element of the contact with Jaden, his request to speak to the Samaritans from his police station cell, did not re-emerge until uncovered by this review.

The report recommends that Waltham Forest Council ‘request that the Ministry of Justice review its guidance on the arrangements for returning children to home areas. The Ministry should be asked to seek other evidence of effectiveness and what works best for children from agencies and authorities who are active in this field including the MOPAC’s ‘Rescue and Response service’.

Read the full review here