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Social services stood by while girl sold sex

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09:42 CEST+02:00
Social service chiefs in Helsingborg are under fire for not intervening to help a 16-year-old girl, despite receiving several reports that she was abusing drugs and selling sex.

The girl's doctor, child psychiatrists and the girl's school had between them reported the girl's situation to social services six times over two years, according to newspaper Sydsvenskan.

As well as reports of drug abuse and prostitution, it was reported that the girl had been the victim of group rape. Despite the reports, social services did not take action.

When social workers finally tried to intervene the girl refused to turn up to meetings and said she didn't want anything to do with them. The social services missed the opportunity to take the girl into protective custody, as by the time they acted on her case she was already 18.

The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) on Wednesday criticized the Helsingborg city authorities for failing to act more quickly and missing the chance to section her.

“It is unusual for us to make such serious criticisms,” said the board's Christer Neleryd.

The board said it was particularly concerned that social services chiefs had deleted parts of the girl's records when the case was due to be investigated.

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