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Lessons Learnt From Neesa Gopaul’s Murder?

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Human Services Minister Priya Manickchand is in receipt of that special report on the way the Child Care and Protection Agency handled the Neesa Gopaul case.

Neesa Gopaul is the teenaged school girl who’s lifeless body was found stashed in a suitcase at a creek along the Linden Soesdyke Highway.

Reports indicate that the report cites a number of mistakes that were made in the handling of the case and disciplinary action has been recommended. Reports indicate that persons could be fired. The young woman had sought the help of the child protection agency, complaining of abuse at home. Her friends had also sought the help of the agency.

The agency was in receipt of 3 reports, but all 3 reports were collected by 3 different officers. A senior official had ordered that the young woman be removed from her mother’s care and placed in the care of her grandfather. When another official at the agency found out about that move, she made another decision and had the child replaced in her mother’s care. Just weeks later, the young woman was found dead. Her mother and the mother’s boyfriend have both been charged with the young woman’s murder.

An officer attached to the child care agency said the fear is that junior officials who had very little say in the final decisions will be punished while those at the top will be able to go on with their jobs. The officer said it is clear that bickering at the very top of the agency was responsible for the child’s case not receiving the best attention.

And the agency may be facing a staffing problem. Sources at the agency pointed out that although there are always calls for cases to be followed up, the reality is there are only 6 officers who work in the field and those six officers have over 3000 cases that they have to deal with.

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