The policing of online child sexual exploitation in England and Wales

Published on: 16 December 2021

HMICFRS will undertake a thematic inspection of the policing of online child sexual exploitation in England and Wales.

The inspection seeks to answer the following question:

How effective are police forces, the National Crime Agency and regional organised crime units at identifying and safeguarding children affected by online sexual abuse and exploitation?

The inspection will also assess how effectively these organisations prevent and investigate this type of crime.

The inspection will focus on the effectiveness of the police approaches to:

  • identifying and safeguarding children at risk, and working with partners to protect children at risk or suffering trauma from online sexual abuse and exploitation;
  • investigating and managing crimes, including use of technology and digital forensics and how children are supported through the criminal justice system, including those children who have committed sexual offences; and
  • preventing online sexual abuse and exploitation.

We will highlight good practice and make recommendations where we see areas for improvement.

We will report our findings in Autumn 2022.