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Last Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007, 10:47 GMT
Call for child protection group
Danielle Reid
Danielle Reid's body was found in the Caledonian Canal
A Highlands MSP has called for the setting up of a child protection team to aid local authorities in their work.

Labour's David Stewart made the call during a Scottish Government statement on child protection issues.

He said that few councils have the resources to cope with complex cases such as the murder of five-year-old Danielle Reid, in Inverness, in 2002.

The MSP said the establishment of such a group had previously been mooted and should now be progressed.

The initial call came following allegations of child abuse on the Western Isles.

Seven men and a woman were arrested in a series of dawn raids on the islands and in England in 2003. The Crown Office later dropped all charges.

Mr Stewart said: "It was a recommendation in the Western Isles inspectorate report, but there hasn't been any action on this point to date.

Caledonian Canal

"If we can get this new organisation in place I think it will frankly make our child care a lot safer."

In January, a report found child protection services in the Highlands still needed improvement following the death of Danielle, who was known to the social work department.

Lee Gaytor attacked Danielle at her mother Tracy Reid's home in Inverness in November 2002.

Her body was put in a suitcase and dumped in the Caledonian Canal, where it was found in January 2003.

HM Inspectorate of Education said Highland Council and its partner agencies needed to do more to ensure that services reach all children.

The council said the report showed staff were making a difference.

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