Home » Serious Case Reviews » July 2017: Siblings W&X

July 2017: Siblings W&X

Published July 2017

This report was commissioned by Brighton & Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) to evaluate multi-agency responses to vulnerable young people at risk of exploitation through radicalisation. It follows the deaths of two brothers, ‘W’ and ‘X,’ in Syria in 2014. They had received services from local agencies in the Brighton & Hove area before leaving the UK.

The LSCB Independent Chair, Graham Bartlett, commented:

“This is a tragic case, which has had a major impact on our understanding of the risks posed to children of exploitation through radicalisation.

Whilst the mandatory criteria for a Serious Case Review were not fully met, I felt such an approach would provide a robust framework by which to maximise learning. It has been a complex and large-scale review and I thank all those who contributed.

It is important to stress that this review has found that prior to the siblings travelling to Syria, the national intelligence and threat assessment did not suggest that young people were going abroad to fight. Locally, professionals had not identified that the brothers were at risk of radicalisation or at risk of fighting overseas. There was and remains no evidence to indicate how they were radicalised.

As a result, the findings relate mainly to the challenges for professionals in providing effective help and support to children who have suffered trauma in their early childhood, which can provide the context for children becoming vulnerable to exploitation.

The LSCB is committed to taking the learning forward to safeguard children in Brighton & Hove. I also hope the findings will inform policies and practices elsewhere in the UK.”


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We will be holding a some learning seminars for front line staff in the city to consider the findings during the Safeguarding Sussex Week on:

Everybody, including families and carers, has a responsibility to try and stop young people from being drawn into extremism or radicalisation. You can visit www.preventtragedies.co.uk to access further information and advice.  You can also report online material promoting terrorism or extremism here

If you have concerns about a child or young person contact the Front Door for Families on 01273 292379.

You can also contact Sussex Police on 101 or in an emergency call 999. For more information on preventing terrorism and extremism in Brighton & Hove visit the Safe in the City Website