Child protection in North Wales has improved but more work is needed
Improvements have been made by North Wales Police, yet further changes are needed to help keep vulnerable children safe, a new report has found.
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that since its last inspection of North Wales Police’s child protection services in 2019, the force had made positive changes.
These include increasing the number of officers dedicated to managing sexual and violent offenders, issuing all frontline officers with body-worn video cameras, and better assessing the risk to children when they go missing.
However, HMICFRS said that despite North Wales Police’s good progress since 2019, it still had some concerns, including that:
- frontline officers should speak to children more consistently to listen to their views and concerns;
- the force should improve how it protects children who go missing regularly; and
- children who are detained in custody should receive better support, including appropriate adults arriving more quickly.
Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary said:
“North Wales Police has made some good progress since we last inspected how it keeps children safe in 2019. We’ve seen marked improvements, including in how the force manages people who pose a risk to children and how it investigates the abuse and exploitation of children.
“But there is still more work to do to provide better outcomes for vulnerable children in North Wales – from police officers speaking directly to children more often to ensure their worries are heard, to making sure children who are detained in custody receive the right support at the right time.
“We are encouraged by the force’s progress, and we are confident that it understands where it needs to improve and is committed to making these changes, which we will monitor closely.”
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- For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted at 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.