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Last Updated: Monday, 29 November, 2004, 12:30 GMT
Soham inquiry head demands update
Sir Michael Bichard, head of the Soham inquiry
Sir Michael Bichard's inquiry was damning of several organisations
The head of the Soham inquiry wants the government to prove it is working on the report's recommendations.

Sir Michael Bichard has requested the home secretary shows how mistakes which led to Ian Huntley getting a job as school caretaker are being eradicated.

Sir Michael wants to know by 22 December what is planned, a timescale and whether funding has been set aside.

It is six months since the report on events leading to the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman was published.

Sir Michael said: "I have asked the Home Secretary to provide an account of what the government has achieved, what is intended by when, and whether the necessary resources have been allocated.

"Informal reports of progress have so far been reassuring and I hope to be able to report favourably on all that has been achieved by government and others with whom they have been working."

'Deeply shocking' errors

A Home Office spokesman confirmed that Mr Blunkett had received Sir Michael's letter on Monday.

"The Home Secretary has agreed to pass on a progress report by 22 December for his (Sir Michael's) personal consideration," the spokesman said.

"The report itself will be made public when Parliament returns in mid-January."

Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered in August 2002
The Bichard inquiry was set up to investigate how Huntley secured a job as a school caretaker despite a string of sex allegations against him.

He murdered 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in August 2002 while working at Soham Village College.

Sir Michael advocated the setting up of a registration scheme for those wanting to work with children, as well as a national police intelligence system.

He is expected to report in March on the progress that has been made in taking forward the recommendations of the inquiry.

Sir Michael's report unearthed "deeply shocking" errors at all organisations that had contact with Huntley.

Humberside Police, which failed to keep any of its records of Huntley's past, came in for the heaviest criticism.


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