Police forces progress on child protection pledge

The Home Office has promised that a new system to facilitate the sharing of information across all police forces in England and Wales will become fully operational this summer.

In the latest progress report on implementing the recommendations of the Bichard Inquiry, the Home Office has confirmed that the Impact Nominal Index was launched in December 2005 and will be fully deployed throughout all Child Abuse Investigation Units by July 2006.

A statutory code of practice on police information management has also come into force alongside the new index.

The report reveals that two thirds of the 31 recommendations made by Sir Michael Bichard following his inquiry into the employment of Soham murdered Ian Huntley as a school caretaker have now been “substantially delivered”.

Launching the latest progress report last week, home secretary John Reid said that safeguarding children and vulnerable adults remained an absolute priority.

“Partnership between the government, police, education and other public services is vital so that together we minimise the risk of harm to those most at risk,” Reid said. “We remain fully committed to implementing the whole [Bichard] programme.”

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