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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Isles abuse case: Key quotes
A report into the collapse of a child abuse investigation has said that three young girls living in the Western Isles were sexually abused.

Nine people were charged following a series of dawn raids in 2003 but the charges were dropped last year.

The Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA) report found that social workers and managers should have acted sooner to protect the children.

Here are some of the key comments from those involved:

Alexis Jay, SWIA chief inspector

"We found evidence of physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect as well as symptoms and behaviour which strongly suggested sexual abuse. We believe that all these three children were repeatedly sexually abused."

Social Work Inspection Agency report

"Decision-making within and between agencies did not focus adequately on the needs of the children or on exploring the legal options available to secure their protection. We found that professionals were too willing to believe the accounts of adult family members about what was happening at home rather than the children's."

Education Minister Peter Peacock

"This report writes yet another horrifying chapter in the continuing exposure of child abuse in Scotland. In this case the professional agencies involved knew of, and recorded, extensive concerns about the girls' welfare and well-being over a number of years but inspectors found they didn't intervene early enough."

Councillor Eric Jackson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

"Anyone who reads this report will be horrified. It is unacceptable that despite having and sharing the information early intervention did not take place. This report quite properly pulls no punches and requires serious attention, and we welcome it."

Bill Howat, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar chief executive

"We accept that there were serious shortcomings in our performance in the case and that is a matter of regret. Our aim is to provide the best possible children's services in the Western Isles and we must now see where improvements can be made in the services we provide."

Dick Manson, Western Isles NHS Board chief executive

"The main lessons for us are that difficult decisions based on the information available could have been taken earlier, so we welcome the recommendation about a proper multi-agency system recording and reviewing a chronology of key events. This will be a very helpful tool for our frontline clinical staff in these difficult cases."

Chief Constable Ian Latimer, Northern Constabulary

"Despite the fact that the accused persons did not face a criminal trial, I am confident that the police investigation was of a high standard. As chief constable and chair of ACPOS crime business area, we will continue to work with the Crown Office and other criminal justice partners to ensure that the relevant lessons are learned and that we can all continue to effectively protect children across Scotland."


SEE ALSO
Isles case children 'were abused'
07 Oct 05 |  Scotland
Lives 'changed' by abuse inquiry
07 Oct 05 |  Scotland
Child abuse accused urges report
28 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Lewis child abuse charges dropped
02 Jul 04 |  Scotland

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