Safeguarding services were warned tragic tot was at risk six months before his death

31st January, 2022 12:22 pm

Five-year-old Dylan Scanlon died on New Year’s Eve. He had been flagged to both the police and social services the previous summer as being at risk of neglect

A five-year-old boy found dead in Oldham on New Year’s Eve had been flagged as being at risk of neglect the previous summer, the M.E.N. can reveal.

Police had been alerted by a member of the public six months earlier amid concerns that Dylan Scanlon was not being properly looked after.

It is understood an officer then emailed Oldham’s multi-agency safeguarding hub, which includes social workers and other child protection experts, to highlight the concern.

While an official at the hub did reply, it is unclear what, if any, action was then taken by either agency in the months that then elapsed before Dylan’s death.

Oldham council has completed an initial review of the case and is preparing for a full child safeguarding practice review, while GMP immediately referred itself to the police complaints watchdog on the night of the incident.

Dylan was found at his home on Elm Road in Limeside at around 6.20pm on New Year’s Eve.

A woman in her 30s remains detained under the mental health act. No charges have been made and it is understood a post mortem was inconclusive. GMP’s Murder Investigation Team is continuing its enquiries.

The M.E.N. understands that Dylan had first been known to social services several years earlier while still very small, but a care plan and further intervention had not been deemed necessary.

He is not thought to have come across the radar of child protection again until July 2021, when police were alerted that he may be at risk of neglect.

At that point GMP emailed Oldham’s MASH, although it is not clear what official records were made on the force’s own system.

An official at the MASH is understood to have then replied, asking for more information.

Both agencies are now investigating what happened next and whether Dylan slipped through the net.

Following Dylan’s death, his dad Gary Keenan paid tribute to his ‘best mate’, describing his son as a ‘happy, funny and cheeky little boy’ who loved school and outings to the lake.

Neighbours told the Sun that one woman who lived nearby had tried frantically to save Dylan on the evening of December 31, but had been unable to revive him.

Greater Manchester Police said the case was still with the police complaints watchdog.

“Due to previous police contact, this incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct,” it said.

“Our thoughts remain with Dylan’s family as our Murder Investigation Team continues to undertake their enquiries.”

A spokesman for Oldham council said: “A review of Dylan’s case is currently underway. We expect this to progress to a full child safeguarding practice review, the findings of which will be published in due course.

“That child safeguarding practice review will be carried out by an independent author, with the full co-operation of Oldham Council and other partners.

“It will examine the circumstances around Dylan’s death and look into how organisations, including the council, were involved with Dylan during his life.”



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