North Yorkshire Police needs to improve child protection
North Yorkshire Police is not effectively safeguarding children in the region and improvements are needed, a new report has found.
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Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that officers and staff working on child protection are committed and dedicated, while often working in difficult circumstances.
However, the inspectorate said the standard of investigations in child protection cases is poor, including those involving missing children and child sexual exploitation.
HMICFRS also found that North Yorkshire Police doesn’t prioritise safeguarding and child protection highly enough.
HMICFRS said specific areas for the force to improve included:
- speaking to children, recording their behaviour and demeanour, listening to their concerns and views, and using that information to make decisions about their welfare;
- supervising investigations to make sure the force pursues opportunities and avoids delaying cases unnecessarily; and
- promptly sharing information with safeguarding partners.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said:
“North Yorkshire Police’s senior leaders want to protect children and give them better outcomes, and we found some good examples of the force protecting children in need of help.
“But in too many cases, practice is inconsistent. Officers don’t always share information quickly enough with safeguarding partners. We also found that supervisors don’t oversee investigations well enough, mainly because they lack the training, skills and experience.
“The force knows it needs to do more to help its officers better understand how to safeguard children. We have made a series of recommendations which, if acted on, will help improve outcomes for children in North Yorkshire.”
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- For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted at 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.