Greater Manchester Police inspected on child protection
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has today published an inspection report into the child protection work carried out by Greater Manchester Police, following an inspection in July 2014. This is part of a rolling programme of child protection inspections of all police forces in England and Wales.
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Protecting children is one of the most important tasks the police undertake. Only the police can investigate suspected crimes, arrest perpetrators and monitor sex offenders. Police officers have the power to take a child who is in danger into a place of safety, or to seek an order to restrict an offender’s contact with children. The police service also has a significant role working with other agencies to ensure the child’s protection and well-being, longer term.
Inspectors were pleased to find:
- a strong commitment and visible leadership for child protection, and clear plans for continued improvement of child protection services;
- that staff responsible for managing child abuse investigations were knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated to providing good outcomes for children;
- good relationships with partner agencies and local safeguarding children boards; and
- staff from partner agencies being based in the same location, to help deliver better child protection services.
However, inspectors were concerned to find:
- significant delays in the investigation of a number of child protection cases;
- inconsistent practice across the force, particularly in dealing with child sexual exploitation;
- limited evidence of review or audit of child protection work to support learning and improve practice; and
- that children were being unnecessarily detained in police custody overnight.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said:
“I am pleased to see the clear commitment to protecting children shown by both the leaders and the dedicated staff within Greater Manchester Police. We found that staff managing child protection investigations were knowledgeable and dedicated to providing good outcomes for children.
“The focus now needs to be on driving consistently high standards across the whole force area.
“I was concerned that inspectors found significant delays in the investigation of a number of child protection cases, and would like to see these delays reduced. There were instances of children being unnecessarily detained in custody overnight, which I would also like to see addressed.
“I encourage Greater Manchester Police to act on our recommendations as a matter of urgency, and have asked that within six weeks it provides us with an action plan to demonstrate how it will act upon these recommendations.”
Over the next two years HMIC will assess how effectively each force in England and Wales safeguards children and young people at risk, make recommendations to forces for improving child protection practice, highlight effective practice in child protection work and drive improvements in forces’ child protection practice.
Get the report
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is inspecting the child protection work of every police force in England and Wales. The reports are intended to provide information for the police, the police and crime commissioner (PCC) and the public on how well children are protected and their needs are met, and to secure improvements for the future.
- HMIC is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest, and rigorously examines the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence. HMIC inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales, together with other major policing bodies.
- For further information, HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMIC’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729