Police are tonight reporting that 300 black African boys have gone missing from London schools and fear thousands more could disappear each year.
The numbers were revealed after the 2001 murder inquiry into the African boy's torso found in the Thames. That body was thought to be the victim of a ritual killing (we mentioned another child almost killed after being accused of witchcraft only a few days ago). Police inquiries revealed that 300 black boys of a similar age to the boy whose torso was found had failed to report back to school in the three months before his death.
According to child welfare experts the sheer volume of missing children indicates the scale of child trafficking in the UK, with victims used as domestic servants or in benefit fraud.
Londonist's own initial reaction to this news is similar to Felicity Collier's - The chief executive of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering - "We would not accept this as a society if these were white children".
As much as we love London it can, like any other major metropolis, be a nasty city and especially to those most vulnerable. That 300 children simply fell through the gaps and are now lost in the system - perhaps still here, perhaps in another country or perhaps dead - is simply unacceptable. We'll keep an eye on the fallout from this story as no doubt there'll be the usual spate of blame avoidance and buck passing that'll do little to help either find these children or stop more going missing. Seeing as Labour decided not to give London it's own manifesto this year perhaps the fresh government could instead of making false promises simply do it's best to prevent more kids being pulled from the river over the next four years.