WGPlus (Archive)

Unlike Manchester, No TV headlines for this report!

HMIC has published an inspection report into the child protection work carried out by West Midlands Police, following an inspection in June 2014.  This is part of a rolling programme of child protection inspections of all police forces in England & Wales.

Protecting children is one of the most important tasks the police undertake.  Only the police can investigate suspected crimes, arrest perpetrators and monitor sex offenders.  Police officers have the power to take a child who is in danger into a place of safety, or to seek an order to restrict an offender’s contact with children.  The police service also has a significant role working with other agencies to ensure the child’s protection and well-being, longer term.

Inspectors were pleased to find several ‘traits’, but were concerned to find:

  • a weak response to difficult, complex or prolonged child protection cases
  • that heavy workloads meant staff were unable to manage their investigations effectively
  • a general lack of understanding of the extent of child sexual exploitation & inconsistent practice
  • that officers did not always understand when to refer child protection issues to other agencies or how to do it
  • children were being unnecessarily detained in police custody overnight
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