‘Criminally negligent’

October 28, 2010, 8:09 PM GMT+0

Much of the population thinks the authorities involved in the ‘Baby P’ case should face criminal charges of negligence over the child’s death, our poll results show. This comes as a previously secret report is released, cataloguing the series of professional failings that led to the 17-month-old’s death.

  • 46% of the population think the authorities involved should face criminal charges of negligence, compared to 36% who disagree.
  • 57% of the population believe that the local social services should share the blame for Baby P’s death.
  • 47% think local doctors who saw Baby P should shoulder some of the blame, while 15% say the police should too.
  • 28% say the blame lies solely with those who killed him or allowed him to die, namely mother Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Steven Barker and Jason Owen.

‘Incompetent approach’

Baby P, whose real name was released as Peter Connelly on the expiration of a court anonymity order last year, was 17 months old when he died in 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries in eight months. During this period, he was seen repeatedly by Haringey Social Services and NHS professionals, who failed to take appropriate action.

Social workers involved in the case have already been suspended, and doctors who saw the child are being investigated by the General Medical Council.

Details of the case, published this week, report incompetence on the part of nearly every official that came into contact with him, including social workers, doctors, lawyers and the police. According to the findings, ‘the practice of the majority, both individually and collectively, was incompetent ... Their approach was completely inadequate and did not meet the challenge of the case.’

See the survey details and full results