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

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

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

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


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