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The protection of children is one of the most serious & important responsibilities entrusted to the police service. In a time of changing communities – both real & virtual – the police service must reassess their approach to child protection, or risk failing another generation.
Although all forces have strategies & policies in place that are designed to ensure children are effectively protected & safeguarded (i.e. protected from further harm), and senior leaders are clear in the priority they place on this area of policing, HMIC’s inspections found that the plans articulated by senior officers have ‘failed as yet to result in consistently good services for children’. On too many occasions HMIC found that investigations were poor & plagued by delay, and the response to reports of offences against children – ranging from online grooming to domestic abuse – was inadequate.