Force response to child protection inspection

Leicestershire Police has shown a ‘strong commitment’ to improving services to protect vulnerable people, according to the latest inspection report from police watchdogs.

Today (Tuesday 20 June) Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) published the results of its latest inspection, which looked at child protection services.

Inspector’s highlighted a wealth of good and “innovative” work being delivered across the force and praised the knowledge and commitment shown by officers and staff who were spoken to.

Among the “positive results” found by inspectors were:

  • the establishment of a multi-agency hub where officers work alongside children’s social care and health services to exchange information to protect vulnerable people
  • the delivery of thousands of training sessions across the force
  • the production of Kayleigh’s Love Story – a short film aimed at raising awareness of online grooming and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

However, concerns were raised that the good work being carried out was not yet resulting in “consistently good outcomes” and the report outlined that more needed to be done to “develop and coordinate” the response to child sexual exploitation.

A number of recommendations were subsequently made to the force – all of which have been acted on and already resulted in changes being made which include:

  • the launch of a bespoke partnership CSE tasking and co-ordinating group that aims to identify and address recurring themes, repeat locations and emerging issues
  • the establishment of a domestic violence executive group that brings together senior leaders from across all partners
  • a review of the way the force deals with missing persons enquiries which identified a new working model that aims to improve our risk assessment processes, tasking of enquiries and ability to spot themes and underlying issues
  • the creation of an additional training package highlighting the voice of the child which is to be rolled out to all frontline officers.

Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: “The safeguarding of children is something we are all committed to and are continually looking for ways we can improve the services we deliver, something which has been acknowledged by HMIC.

“As outlined in the report, we have made considerable changes over the last few years to ensure we can effectively tackle growing issues such as CSE, online offending and improve our work in areas of child protection.

“We know there is more work to be done and have robust partnership plans in place to ensure we continue to develop and change our response to ensure young people within our communities are properly safeguarded.

“We immediately acted on all the recommendations made by the HMIC and I would like to reassure people that work is either ongoing, or changes have already been implemented to address each and every one.”

Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is unsurprising given some of the appalling cases of child abuse which have come to light in recent years that HMIC is setting an incredibly high bar for police forces in their inspections. I’m pleased to see that the strong improvement in service has been recognised, as has the fact the force has made child protection a priority.

“They have also noted the strong leadership and oversight that is in place. But the police cannot work in isolation. A multi-agency approach still needs support from the general public, because keeping people safe is everybody’s responsibility.

“However, I’m pleased to see that HMIC recognises that multi-agency relationships are established and while I will monitor the implementation of HMIC’s recommendations I am immensely reassured by the regular progress updates I receive from the chief constable.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

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