Northamptonshire has significantly improved child protection arrangements, although there is still more to do

A revisit inspection by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that Northamptonshire Police has made significant progress in child protection arrangements by developing a joint approach with other agencies (for example children’s social care, health, education and probation), using additional specialist resources, and providing training for specialist and frontline officers.

In January 2013, HMIC identified failings in Northamptonshire Police’s child protection arrangements following a multi-agency pilot inspection. HMIC visited the force in March 2013 and again in June 2013 to check on its progress in responding to our recommendations.

In October 2013, HMIC conducted a further follow-up inspection and was pleased to find that many of the areas for improvement that were previously identified had been achieved. During the course of the inspection activity HMIC inspectors did not identify cases where children were exposed to significant harm due to omissions by Northamptonshire Police. The force has also invested in additional resources and training for specialist child protection teams.

Although the force still has work to do, HMIC has concluded that Northamptonshire children are now made safer due to the efforts of Northamptonshire Police than when the force was inspected twelve months ago.

HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Eastern Region, Zoë Billingham, said:

“Our inspection of Northamptonshire Police in early 2013 gave us significant concern about how the force was protecting children in the county. We have regularly re-inspected the force since then to ensure progress has been made against our recommendations. We have now seen a real improvement.

“Our most recent inspection in October 2013 confirmed that the force has made significant progress, and as a result children in Northamptonshire are better protected from harm than previously.

“The force recognises that it still has more work to do. It should continue to focus on improving its child protection arrangements, but it deserves credit for the positive changes it has made. We are pleased to see that the force has further improvements planned. HMIC will continue to monitor its progress.”

HMIC will re-inspect the force during 2014 as part of the planned national programme of child protection inspections.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. The report detailing our inspection in October 2013, and past reports on Northamptonshire Police Child Protection Arrangements, can be found at www.hmic.gov.uk
  2. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (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.
  3. For further information, HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
  4. HMIC’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.