Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has today published a report calling for 'radical new approaches' in how the police and their partner agencies work together to protect children.
Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird QC, said:
“While it is encouraging that the police have made improvements to their child protection practices since the previous HMICFRS inspection in 2015, it is concerning that this work seems to be largely reactive rather than actively tackling the causes of vulnerability and risk which can lead to abuse.
“As I have heard repeatedly recently, despite the dedication of specialists in this area, agencies are not working together effectively to protect vulnerable children and prevent them becoming victims of exploitation and abuse.
“There needs to be bold action in this area to tackle the difficulties agencies face when trying to work together. We also need to make sure this important area of police work is properly resourced. It is not good enough that children are being let down by authorities who either miss or don’t have the resources to act upon signs that a child is at risk. Acting to prevent these crimes rather than just dealing with the symptoms leads to better long-term outcomes for children and society as a whole.”