Hampshire Constabulary praised for child protection
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An important report by independent reviewers has commended Hampshire Constabulary’s officers and staff for how they investigate child abuse, look after children in custody, and respond to higher risk missing children.
HMICFRS Inspector Roy Wilsher pointed to the force being “good at working with other organisations, such as schools and social care services, to keep children safe”, “many examples of good work by frontline officers responding to incidents involving children”, and the fact “senior leaders are clearly committed to child protection” with good oversight of how well officers carry out their work.
Following publication of the report, Assistant Chief Constable Craig Dibdin was quick to praise officers and staff, saying it was especially welcome that their commitment and dedication to protect children and to get justice for victims in an increasingly complex and demanding environment was being acknowledged. He praised those in specialist teams and custody, and highlighted the force’s use of police protection powers and work with partner agencies.
Staff investigating child protection issues often face some of the most traumatic cases that policing deals with. The HMICFRS report also recognised the importance the force puts on ensuring the health and wellbeing of those who investigate these types of crimes.
HMICFRS highlighted some areas where the force can improve at protecting children. These include providing better outcomes for vulnerable children in Hampshire, how the force manages people who pose a risk to children, and responding to incidents quickly when children are at risk. The force is committed to, and has already begun to address these issues.