ITV News Exclusive: Tia Sharp family referred to social services

I understand that over the last five years police and other agencies have referred Tia Sharp's family to Merton Social Services on a number of occasions.

More than once, it has been been about issues surrounding the abuse of Class A drugs by members of Tia Sharp's family and on another occasion police referred the family to social services after they were called to some kind of disturbance at her home.

Tia Sharp's family had been reported to social services Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

On each occasion social services examined the information and a decision was made not to allocate a social worker to the family and the case was effectively closed - the last time being around a year ago.

There are two things we should stress here - firstly none of these incidents involved or related to Stuart Hazell, the man charged with murdering Tia who is the boyfriend of her grandmother.

Secondly, we shouldn't jump to any conclusions - hindsight is, after all a wonderful thing, and it may be that the correct procedures were followed and the right decisions made given the information known at the time.

What this does tell us, however, is why there is a serious case review ongoing, what it's starting point is and why there are concerns that, perhaps, things could or should have been done differently.

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