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Express & Star comment: Shame on all who let this happen

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

As failures in public office go, the catastrophic chain of incidents up to the death of Lisa Skidmore is as about as they get.

Lisa Skidmore, left, and her killer Leroy Campbell

Ultimately, poor decision making led to a serial rapist, Leroy Campbell, remaining at large to commit a savage murder which could have been avoided.

We now know from the report from the HM Inspectorate that this is precisely what happened in this most tragic case.

The report states quite clearly the appalling mistakes which were made which turned out for Miss Skidmore to be fatal errors.

At the commons yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May issued the standard platitudes in the face of the such public sector disasters.

Lessons will be learned, she assured, as she accepts Miss Skidmore and her family were badly let down.

However, this is not enough.

Incomprehensible

Disciplinary action against only some of those involved in a catalogue incomprehensible blunders is insufficient.

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Not only for the Skidmore family who have suffered the horrific loss of a beloved family member but for the wider general public.

Firmer action and safeguards must be put in place to ensure there is never any repeat.

The executive director of the National Probation Service, Sonia Crozier, said she was deeply ashamed over what had gone on, but despite the best efforts of many probation officers there is a growing suspicion that outsourcing and the reorganisation of the service has left staff far too overstretched to carry out the vitally important roles that they are expected to complete.

Only in July did Justice Secretary David Gauke terminate the contracts of private companies which ran probation services in the country, admitting they have not delivered the expected benefits.

As ever this horrendous saga comes down to economic cuts, bad management and human incompetence which, in the end, has proved to have fatal consequences.

Everyone involved at each step of the process which led to Miss Skidmore's premature and sorry death should hang their heads in shame and that starts with the Prime Minister herself.

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