National child protection inspections

HMICFRS is inspecting the child protection work of every police force in England and Wales. The findings of the inspections are intended to 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.

This page sets out:

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.


Between October 2011 and March 2013, we were involved, on a multi-agency basis, in a number of child protection inspections. Along with evidence of strengths and effective practice, these inspections highlighted areas for improvement, in particular: the quality of joint investigations; the identification of risk; dealing with domestic abuse; and the detention of children in custody.


To address these issues, we decided to conduct a programme of single-agency inspections of all police forces in England and Wales. The aims of the inspection programme are to:

  • assess how effectively police forces safeguard children at risk;
  • make recommendations to police forces for improving child protection practice;
  • highlight effective practice in child protection work; and
  • drive improvements in forces’ child protection practice.

The focus of our inspections is on the outcomes for, and experiences of, children who come into contact with the police when there are concerns about their safety or well-being.

The NCPI methodology builds on our earlier multi-agency inspections. It comprises self-assessment and case audits carried out by each force, as well as case audits and interviews with police officers, police staff and representatives from partner agencies. The NCPI methodology and assessment criteria can be found below:

The findings of our inspections can be found in the reports listed below. Each report is made up of nine chapters in three main parts. The first part provides background to the inspection and the force under inspection. The second part focuses on our findings, and the third looks to the future and makes recommendations for improvement.

Additional reports will be added here as we publish them.

In July 2015,  HMICFRS published ‘In harm’s way: The role of the police in keeping children safe’, which summarises findings from all the National Child Protection Inspection reports published between August 2014 and February 2015.

In February 2020 we published our second national child protection inspection thematic. It draws on NCPI findings between 2015 and 2019 and other reports focusing on child protection, such as the joint targeted area inspections.

Police force reports

2023 national child protection inspection reports

2022 national child protection inspection reports

2021 national child protection inspection reports

2020 national child protection inspection reports

2019 national child protection inspection reports

2018 national child protection inspection reports

2017 national child protection inspection reports

2016 national child protection inspection reports

2015 national child protection inspection reports

2014 national child protection inspection reports

Post inspection activity

Follow up activity is an integral part of the National Child Protection Inspection programme as it allows us to assess the progress each force is making in its work to improve the services for the safety and protection of children.

Within six weeks of publication of the inspection report, the force is required to provide an action plan to HMICFRS specifying how it intends to respond to the recommendations. At that stage, action plans are reviewed by HMICFRS inspectors and the precise nature of HMICFRS follow-up considered.

The NCPI post inspection review methodology can be found below:

NCPI Methodology for post-inspection follow-up activity


2020 national child protection post-inspection review reports

The findings of our follow-up activity will be added here as soon as we publish them.

Please get in touch if you have a question or would like to comment on any area of our child protection work, email Contact HMICFRS (e-mail address).