South East Wales

Child protection not good enough, says Welsh Tory leader

A little girl sat alone in the dark. Image copyright Thinkstock

A "thorough investigation" should be made into councils, police and health bodies after a mother was jailed for neglecting her two children, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives has said.

Andrew RT Davies called on the Welsh Government to take action after children were found in a home "literally not fit for animals".

The woman, from Barry, was found guilty of two counts of child cruelty.

The Welsh Government said all agencies have a duty to help children at risk.

The children, a boy and a girl of primary school age, were only found after a neighbour called the RSPCA concerned about whether the house was suitable for cats.

South Wales Police and social services from the Vale of Glamorgan Council found excrement on the walls, cat fleas, bowls filled with maggots and removed 165 bags of rubbish from the house.

There had also been no heating in the building for nine months.

Image caption Andrew RT Davies described the abuse as "horrifying"

Mr Davies described the case as "horrifying" and said the reaction of agencies and services was "not good enough".

He told BBC Wales: "People need to look in the mirror and ask themselves 'did they do enough in this particular case?'"

Children's Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland said: "Neglect is something that accumulates over the years and people don't always recognise the seriousness of it."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Everybody in society has a responsibility to protect and safeguard children and adults from abuse and neglect.

"Cardiff and Vale Safeguarding Board will consider whether this case should be subject of a Child Practice Review in line with statutory guidance."

A Child Practice Review involves investigating the practices in a local authority to identify failings and make improvements to prevent further problems.

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