Cheshire Constabulary is committed to child protection, but improvement is needed
Cheshire Constabulary is committed to protecting and providing better outcomes for children, but improvements are needed, a new report has found.
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found examples of good work at Cheshire Constabulary, including that it prioritises domestic abuse incidents, with officers taking a proactive approach to arrests and safeguarding referrals when children are present, and works consistently and positively with partner agencies in child protection investigations.
However, HMICFRS said the force does need to make some improvements, including:
- addressing the lack of progress in some investigations when children are at risk of sexual exploitation;
- ensuring all frontline officers deployed to incidents involving children have the expertise to manage them;
- prioritisation of children at risk of sexual exploitation who are repeatedly missing; and
- ensuring children with complex needs are not taken into custody unnecessarily.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said:
“Cheshire Constabulary recognises that it isn’t providing the level of response and quality of service that children in Cheshire require, and the leadership team is clearly committed to improving.
“The constabulary has invested a significant amount of time and energy in the health and wellbeing of its staff, including those working in child protection roles. Partner organisations, such as education and children’s social care services, describe their relationships with the constabulary as extremely positive and say they work well together.
“But there is more work to do to provide better outcomes in Cheshire, including prioritising vulnerable children and ensuring all frontline staff have the training and expertise needed to manage incidents involving children.
“We are encouraged by how quickly Cheshire Constabulary responded to areas of concern identified in our inspection and we will continue to work closely with the force to monitor its progress.”
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- For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted at 07836217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.