Gwent Police making important steps toward addressing child protection recommendations
As part of a rolling programme of child protection inspections of all police forces in England and Wales, HMICFRS published an initial report in February 2019, on the child protection work of Gwent Police. This found that, despite a clear commitment to protecting children, there were areas of concern that meant children were not receiving the service they deserve.
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HMICFRS carried out a post-inspection review in January 2020 and found that the force is working hard to respond to the previous inspection’s recommendations. There are however some areas that still need to be addressed.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:
“I am pleased with the progress made. There has been, and continues to be, a focus on child protection matters at a strategic level at Gwent Police. This includes its continuing work to develop partnership safeguarding arrangements across Gwent and to respond to our 2019 recommendations. The force is refining and improving its response to protecting children who are vulnerable and at risk.
“While improvements are still needed in some areas, there have been important steps towards addressing our recommendations. The force now needs to become more consistent in its practice and continue the assurance work it began with its audits. This will provide the information that it needs to understand the effect its ways of working have on children who need help and support.”
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- In March 2020 we suspended our inspection activity to enable forces and fire and rescue services to focus on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We deferred this report’s publication as part of this suspension. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor comments in detail on this as part of his annual assessment of policing, published on 2 July 2020. Our findings in this report are based upon evidence we collected before the pandemic was declared. Care should be taken if seeking to make links between our findings and police performance during the lockdown.
- Under the National Child Protection Inspection (NCPI) programme, HMICFRS 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.
- Follow up activity by HMICFRS is an integral part of the NCPI programme. It allows inspectors to assess the progress each force is making in its work to improve services for the safety and protection of children.
- For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.