Leicestershire Police’s ‘continuing commitment’ to child protection has improved outcomes for children
Leicestershire Police has demonstrated an improved standard of practice when it comes to keeping children safe from harm, according to a post-inspection review published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
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The review includes the results of a case file audit which shows that the force’s practice in 53 per cent of the child protection cases examined was considered ‘good’. In a previous inspection conducted in January 2017, only 29 per cent of cases examined demonstrated ‘good’ practice.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said:
“I am pleased to report that we have seen real improvement in the way that Leicestershire Police keeps children safe from harm. The senior leadership’s continuing commitment to child protection is now translating into better outcomes for children. I am happy to see that the force has invested in training and strengthened its partnerships with other agencies, like local councils. As a result, we identified good practice in more than half of the child protection cases we reviewed.
“But that means that almost half of the cases we saw weren’t carried out to a good enough standard. We found evidence that, in some cases, poor decision making meant that children were not always adequately safeguarded. The force recognises that improvement is required in this area and is acting on our findings.
“Overall, I am most encouraged by the progress we have seen. I am confident that Leicestershire Police will take this momentum and continue to work on further improving outcomes for children.”
The report also sets out that Leicestershire Police has:
- invested in training officers and staff about their role to play in safeguarding children;
- improved its approach to child sexual exploitation; and
- introduced an innovative process to record strategy discussions with external partners.
- 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 is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing and fire & rescue services in the public interest. It assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces 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’ press office can be contacted from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMICFRS’ out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.