National Child Protection Inspections: 2019 thematic report

Published on: 27 February 2020


In early 2014, we began a national programme of child protection inspections. We examine the effectiveness of the decisions made by the police at each stage of their interactions with or for children, from initial contact through to the investigation of offences against them. We also scrutinise the treatment of children in custody, and assess how forces are structured, led and governed, in relation to their child protection services.

In 2015, we published our first thematic report. This summarised the findings of the first eight of these inspections along with the findings of a further 13 inspections that we undertook either alone or with other agencies, and which had a child protection theme.

Since then, we have:

  • undertaken a further 17 child protection inspections of individual forces;
  • completed 21 reviews of forces to assess their progress against recommendations we made during our initial child protection inspections;
  • along with Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation launched the joint targeted area inspections (JTAI) of child protection. These short, focused inspections consider the effectiveness of statutory partnership arrangements for the protection of children. Since 2016, we have published 26 reports about our findings from these inspections.

Together, these reports provide a powerful analysis of how well police forces serve the needs of vulnerable children. This report aims to build on the findings of the previous report by exploring the key themes identified by the evidence we have gathered from all 64 inspections, and considers the ways in which the police service, its safeguarding partners and the government need to adapt and respond in order to meet the challenges they face.

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Read the report online

National Child Protection Inspections: 2019 thematic report (HTML)

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National Child Protection Inspections: 2019 thematic report (PDF document)

Get the evaluation reports by NatCen

We commissioned NatCen to carry out independent evaluation of the programme. The reports were published alongside our thematic.

Evaluation of the National Child Protection Inspection programme on policing

Find out more about our child protection inspections

Child protection inspections

Get the press release

Inspectors call for ‘radical new approaches’ in how the police and local partners protect children

Get the police and crime commissioners' responses to the report

Cleveland PCC’s response

Dorset PCC’s response

Durham PCC’s response

Gwent PCC’s response (PDF document)

Lincolnshire PCC’s response

Merseyside PCC’s response (PDF document)

Suffolk PCC’s response

Surrey PCC’s response

Sussex PCC’s response

West Yorkshire PCC’s response

Wiltshire PCC’s response

Find out why we publish PCC responses.

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