Sara Sharif: Could police have told public sooner about trio who fled to Pakistan?

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The MP for Woking has criticised Surrey Police for its delay in releasing details about the suspects at the centre of an international manhunt following the murder of Sara Sharif.

The ten-year-old was found dead with 'extensive injuries' at her home almost two weeks ago.

It took officers eight days to tell the public that her father, his partner and brother were three people they wanted to speak to.

"The police are as shocked as anyone, they are working incredibly hard," Woking MP Jonathan Lord said.

"They will leave no stone unturned in terms of sorting this out and finding out what happened.

"It became known reasonably early on that the people police wanted to talk to had fled abroad, maybe that could have been brought into the public domain a bit earlier on.

"But they were sure to say at the outset that there is no one locally they we are looking for and no danger locally.

"And there has been a big police presence which I think has been very reassuring to people," Mr Lord explained.

The MP for Woking said the "resilient community" would bounce back as it awaited the outcome of Surrey Council Council's rapid review.

He added: "With a case that is this sad and shocking I think international authorities in Pakistan will see reason and make sure they help us find the right people and bring them here."

In a statement Surrey Police said: "There were operational reasons why we were not able to confirm more details publicly earlier on in the investigation."

Mr Sharif, 41, his partner, Beinash Batool, 29, and his brother, Faisal Malik, 28, are wanted for questioning.

Sara Sharif, 10, was found with multiple and extensive injuries, police said Credit: Surrey Police

Police believe they travelled to Islamabad on August 9, with five children aged between one and 13.

Surrey County Council said they were “working tirelessly with our safeguarding partners to gain a full understanding of the situation as quickly as possible”.

On Friday council leader Tim Oliver said: “This is an incredibly sad situation and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with everyone affected.”

He said the national Child Safeguarding panel has been notified of the death and a multi-agency rapid review is under way, in line with standard process following the death of a child.

He explained: “This rapid review will determine whether a local child safeguarding practice review (LCSPR) is to be undertaken by the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership.

“An LCSPR is a statutory process, bringing together partners including the police, health, social care and education to review practice of all agencies involved, organisational structures and learning.”

He said on Sunday: “We can confirm Sara Sharif was known to Surrey County Council but we cannot comment further while the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership’s thorough review process is ongoing.”

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