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Police not told about 40 children in Shropshire care homes

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Forty children were living in Shropshire care homes without the knowledge of the police, a report has found.

Children in care were three times more likely to go missing than other children, it said.

Yet those placed in the county's private care homes by outside authorities were slipping under the radar, the in-depth review by Telford & Wrekin's children and young people scrutiny committee found.

The document said this happened because Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin councils have no statutory duties towards the youngsters.

The committee said that children's homes and councils needed to work more closely with officers to protect vulnerable children.

It comes as the number of children in care in both authorities has hit a record three year high.

The committee's papers, with contributions from Detective Inspector Philip Shakesheff, West Mercia Police's lead for missing persons, were drawn up in the wake of Operation Chalice.

This was an investigation by West Mercia Police into a child sex ring in Telford.

The probe resulted in seven men, mostly of Pakistani origin, being sentenced to a combined total of almost 50 years in jail.

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