Child abuse and child protection issues
The protection of children is one of the most serious and important responsibilities entrusted to the police service.
In March 2013, HMIC published the report ‘Mistakes were made: HMIC’s review into allegations and intelligence material concerning Jimmy Savile between 1964 and 2012’. Following on from this report, in early 2014 we started a programme of work looking at the police response to child abuse and child protection.
Please note: In July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspections carried out before July 2017 may continue to refer to HMIC.
Our child protection inspections
Between January 2014 and June 2015, HMIC conducted 21 inspections of different aspects of the police response to child protection issues, including:
- eight inspections of individual forces as part of the National Child Protection Inspection programme, which is examining the child protection work of every police force in England and Wales;
- our report, ‘Online and on the edge: Real risks in a virtual world’ details findings from an inspection of how police forces deal with children who are being exploited via the internet;
- inspections on work with children and young people which we have carried out jointly with other organisations; and
- other HMIC reports which contain matters relevant to child protection – for example, our report into the police response to domestic abuse.
The report ‘In harm’s way: The role of the police in keeping children safe’, published on 2 July 2015, summarises findings from all these inspections. By drawing them together, we are able to provide a comprehensive overview of the experiences of vulnerable children who come to the attention of the police, highlighting both good practice and areas for improvement.
We are also working with Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HMI Probation and HMI Prisons to develop a framework for joint, targeted inspections to examine the effectiveness of local authorities and partners in delivering child protection services across England. Find out more about these joint inspections.
We are continuously working, both as a single agency and with our partners, to develop our work in this area and further details will be published in more detail in due course.
Please get in touch if you have a question or would like to comment on any area of our child protection work, emailHave Your Say
If you would like to seek advice on any of the issues raised in these reports, please contact ChildLine