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Norfolk Police urged to improve child protection measures after inspection

18:35 29 August 2014

Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. Pic: submitted.

Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. Pic: submitted.

Archant

A chief constable pledged to put extra child protection measures in place after an inspection called for Norfolk Police to produce an action plan to improve.

Inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) visited the force in April to see how it works to protect the county’s most vulnerable children.

The independent body praised Norfolk Police’s “strong commitment” to child protection and efforts to improve the ability of those police officers and staff most likely to have significant contact with at risk children.

However, inspectors were concerned that the force did not always do enough to assess the risk suspects could pose to other vulnerable people, particularly in cases of child sexual exploitation, and officers attending an incident did not always have access to information about the possible presence of registered sex offenders.

The HMIC has urged Norfolk Police to submit an action plan to improve child protection within six weeks.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said the force had already invested an extra £750,000 this year, despite financial challenges.

“As a force we constantly review our processes and I am encouraged by the report and its findings which I feel shows we are moving in the right direction. At the same time there are some clear lessons for us to consider in our work as we move forwards. I want to ensure our staff continue to develop their acute awareness of child protection issues, which in turn will improve the consistency of our response.”

Stephen Bett, Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, added: “It is reassuring to see that HMIC found Norfolk Constabulary is strongly committed to protecting children in the county from abuse and violence. It is also encouraging to see efforts have been made to improve recognition of those at risk and to hear praise for partnership working.”

“However, there are areas which need addressing and I want to know what is being done to make improvements in these areas.”

Have you got a crime story? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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