Derbyshire Constabulary shows improvement in child protection but still more to do

Derbyshire Constabulary has improved how it safeguards and protects children, but there is still more to do, according to a new report.

Get the report

Derbyshire – National child protection re‑inspection

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) re-inspected the force in 2022 after an initial inspection in 2021 found systemic failings and made 12 recommendations for urgent improvement.

In the latest visit, inspectors found that Derbyshire Constabulary had made progress against these recommendations. They said senior leaders are prioritising the force’s approach to vulnerability, and there is a clear structure in place to scrutinise and oversee all aspects of child protection.

But the inspectorate also said there are still significant improvements to be made in working with other agencies to protect children, delays in gathering digital evidence, and a lack of experienced and fully trained detectives in the public protection department.

HMICFRS said specific areas for the force to improve included:

  • better processes to assess and share information with other organisations to help protect children;
  • effective oversight of the team managing sexual offenders and violent offenders;
  • increased numbers of experienced and fully trained investigators in the public protection department;
  • systems to prioritise and arrange the arrest of high-risk offenders;
  • reduced delays in digital forensic examinations; and
  • better availability and use of intelligence and for exploited children.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said:

“I am pleased with some of the progress that Derbyshire Constabulary has made following the urgent improvements we identified in last year’s inspection. But, overall, the force’s child protection arrangements still need to improve to provide a good enough response to effectively safeguard children in Derbyshire. None of our recommendations from 2021 have been fully achieved.

“The force needs to consolidate the areas where it has made progress and we still need to see significant improvements to other aspects of its child protection arrangements, including how effectively it works with partner agencies. It needs to ensure there are more experienced and fully-trained investigators in its public protection department to effectively safeguard children in need.

“Encouragingly, the force produced a full action plan to address our concerns from 2021 and can show tangible progress in a number of areas. Its leaders are working to ensure a culture change where vulnerability is effectively identified and managed. There is clearly appetite to improve child protection – I hope to see continued action from the force and will monitor it closely.”

Get the report

Derbyshire – National child protection re‑inspection

Notes

  1. For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted at 07836 217729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk (e-mail address).