POLICE have launched an investigation amid claims council staff inappropriately accessed confidential social work files on toddler Mikaeel Kular.
Last month it emerged Fife Council had begun an internal inquiry into suggestions workers looked at documents relating to the three-year-old, who was killed by his mother.
Now police have confirmed an investigation is under way into “data management” within the council.
Edinburgh and Fife councils are currently undertaking a significant case review into the death of Mikaeel, whose mother, Rosdeep Adekoya, was last month sentenced to 11 years in jail for culpable homicide and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by hiding her son’s body. A huge police search involving hundreds of members of the public was carried out in January when Adekoya reported Mikaeel missing.
However, the toddler was already dead. His mother had “lost her temper” when he was repeatedly sick following a trip to a Nando’s restaurant at Edinburgh’s Fountain Park.
Adekoya repeatedly beat her son before putting his lifeless body in a suitcase and leaving it in woodland behind her sister’s home in Kirkcaldy. Her internet history showed searches including “I find it hard to love my son”, “I love all of my children except one”, “why am I so aggressive with my son” and “get rid of bruises”.
The court heard how Fife social services monitored Adekoya and her young family until December 2013 – the month before Mikaeel’s death. However, Adekoya was not on the radar of social workers in Edinburgh, despite having moved to the capital.
A number of staff at Fife Council are understood to be under investigation after details of the Mikaeel’s case were accessed.
A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland is currently investigating some specific matters concerning data management within Fife Council.
“If and when criminality can be evidenced, this would be reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for onward consideration.”
A significant case review is currently being carried out into Mikaeel’s death.
The first phase of the review – which was already under way before Adekoya admitted her guilt in court – is looking at files, records, policies and procedures which were in place before Mikaeel’s death.
The second phase will look at information which came to light during the police investigation.
Commenting on the investigation into data management at the council, Craig Munro, executive director of education and children’s services said: “We have a clear internal process for dealing with discipline issues and we don’t comment publicly on the individual circumstances of staff.”
Recent significant case reviews include that of toddler Declan Hainey, whose body was discovered in March 2010.
Earlier this week, a fatal accident inquiry ruled his death could have been avoided if agencies had properly supervised his drug-addict mother.