Police need targets and more resources

    Urgent improvements are needed in the way in which the police
    investigate child abuse and child protection issues, according to a
    report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

    In a report published last week, the HMIC finds that although
    child abuse investigation units are now well established in all
    forces, staffing levels, supervision and monitoring needs to be
    greatly improved.

    The inspectorate report also finds child protection is not
    included in the policing plans of more than two-fifths of
    forces.

    The report records “little monitoring of performance” across the
    police service and recommends the introduction of national
    performance indicators for child abuse and protection cases by
    October this year.
    It also recommends a review of staffing levels in child abuse
    investigation units by July 2005 to ensure there is adequate
    supervision.

    Despite a Home Office circular saying it is not acceptable to
    accommodate children in police protection in police stations, every
    force visited was doing so for periods of time, the report
    reveals.

    The inspectorate has called for police forces to negotiate with
    local authorities to provide suitable
    alternative accommodation.

    The report also finds a “significant gap” in training for child
    protection teams – an issue highlighted by the Victoria Climbie
    Report.

     

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