Inspectorate praises Gwent Police’s "clear commitment" to child protection
Gwent Police demonstrated a clear commitment to child safeguarding, according to a report released today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
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The report, which details the results of an inspection carried out earlier this year, highlights several areas of good practice throughout the force. These range from good frontline response work to timely and child-focused investigations into the distribution of indecent images.
HMICFRS did, however, also identify areas for improvement. Record keeping is a concern. The way that the force assesses risk and shares information with partner agencies – in particular, children’s social care – means that decisions can be based on incomplete information, resulting in poorer protective plans. Other concerns include the treatment of children detained in police custody and engagement with child victims.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:
“I am pleased with the results of this inspection. It is clear that all leaders, officers and staff take their child protection responsibilities seriously.
“We saw instances of good practice. Frontline response is generally strong, with officers benefiting from effective training and an efficient communications and control room system. The force works well with other agencies such as local authority social care services.
“We were also impressed with the force’s approach to staff wellbeing. Child protection matters can be especially distressing for those working on them, so it was good to see that Gwent Police devotes a lot of time and resources to providing staff support.
“We did, however, also identify areas where the force needs to improve. In particular, we would like to see more attention given to record keeping.
“We are also concerned about how the force manages registered sex offenders and its treatment of children detained in custody facilities.
“Given the force’s commitment to child protection, I am confident that it will be able to successfully address our concerns.”
HMICFRS will carry out a further inspection of Gwent Police’s child protection capabilities within the next six months.
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- HMICFRS is inspecting the child protection work of every police force in England and Wales. The reports provide information for the police, the police and crime commissioner and the public on how well children are protected and their needs are met, and to secure improvements for the future.
- 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.
- On 19 July 2017, HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
- HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies. It also inspects all 45 fire and rescue services in England.
- For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted from 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.
- HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing and fire and rescue services in the public interest. It assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and fire and rescue services.