Sara Sharif: Surrey Police had contact with family of murdered girl

Sara Sharif
Authorities said Sara Sharif had suffered "multiple and extensive injuries", likely caused over a sustained period of time

Police have had "historic" contact with the family of a 10-year-old girl who was found murdered at her home, a senior officer has said.

Det Supt Mark Chapman of Surrey Police said the interaction with Sara Sharif's family "goes back some years".

It follows Surrey County Council's disclosure that the family, from Woking, were known to the authorities.

Three family members went to Pakistan before Sara's body was found on 10 August and are wanted by the police.

Det Supt Chapman told the BBC: "Surrey Police's contact with the family has been on a limited basis. It's been on a historic basis. And that goes back some time."

He said police interaction with the Sharif family "goes back some years" but declined to expand on his comment.

The police officer also said the force had not referred the case to the police watchdog, adding: "Surrey Police have reviewed the position and it doesn't fulfil the criteria to alert the Independent Office for Police Conduct."

The three people who travelled to Pakistan, and are now thought to be in Islamabad, are Sara's father, Urfan Sharif, 41, his partner, Beinash Batool, 29, and his brother, Faisal Malik, 28.

Police in Pakistan confirmed to the BBC that they had questioned - but not arrested - two of Mr Sharif's brothers as well as his father. The brothers - Imran Sharif and Zareef Sharif - are both based there.The police also revealed that they are under pressure from the Federal Investigation Agency in Pakistan to find the trio who left England.

Urfan Sharif and Beinash Batool
Urfan Sharif and his partner Beinash Batool are sought by police

Det Supt Chapman said Surrey officers wanted to build a picture of how Sara - a Year 5 pupil at St Mary's C of E primary school in Byfleet - had lived.

He said: "We're looking to hear from anybody who lived in the area who regularly saw Sara going about her daily routine.

"Any parents who may know of Sara from school or other regular activities. Any parties that might have gone on out of school, or anyone who had any form of contact with her really, no matter how insignificant it might seem."

After it was revealed Sara was known to the authorities, campaigner on children's social care, Chris Wild, who advised the government's most recent review into children's social care, told the BBC's World at One programme this meant Sara would have been "on their radar".

He also said there may have been a child protection order in place, or a safeguarding concern made.

The council has said a multi-agency review is under way.

Police have said Mr Sharif, 41, made a 999 call from Pakistan shortly after landing in Islamabad with his partner, his brother and five children, aged between one and 13.

That led officers to the house in Woking where they found Sara's body. She had sustained "multiple and extensive injuries" likely to have been caused over a sustained period of time.

Police have also been searching the family's previous address in West Byfleet.

There is no formal extradition treaty between the UK and Pakistan.

This article has been updated to clarify the nature of the family's previous contact with the police.

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