Speaking after the conviction of Graham Sate, social services director David Wright said: 'We failed in our duty and for that I am deeply sorry. This could happen again because our workload is even worse.'
Mr Wright said his department had recruited extra staff to deal with the increasing workload of child protection referrals. In the month murdered girl Lauren Creed was brought to the department's attention there were 254 referrals. In October 1998 the figure was 347 new child protection referrals.