LANCASHIRE Constabulary has welcomed the significant improvements identified in the way it protects children.
In March last year Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published a report into Child Protection arrangements in the force which highlighted a number of weaknesses in the force’s approach in this area.
In a post inspection review published today (Thursday, April 11th) the inspectorate found the force had taken significant steps to address the issues and to improve the protection of children, meaning they are now better protected.
In particular HMICFRS found we had prioritised child protection by:
- Providing further training for all frontline officers and staff
- Introducing child protection coaches
- Rolling out the ‘Think Child’ internal awareness campaign
- Improved governance and management systems
The inspectors said the force had worked hard to improve the culture of its workforce and that most officers understood their safeguarding responsibilities and were child focused. They highlighted the ‘impressive’ commitment and dedication to change shown by the chief officer team.
The constabulary has plans in place to continue to improve in areas, namely where children are detained in custody, where children go missing and recording and supervision of cases. Inspectors also highlighted these areas and have seen our plans.
Deputy Chief Constable Sunita Gamblin said: “I’m really pleased with the findings of the report which recognises the huge amount of hard work our officers and staff have done to improve what we do to protect children - one of the most important things we do as a police force.
“The commitment of everyone from chief officers and senior leaders to frontline staff has led to significant culture change with officers and staff now much more child-focused and a recognition that safeguarding is the responsibility of us all.
“We are not complacent and we recognise that there are areas where we can progress further. We will continue to work hard in this vital area until we can deliver an outstanding service in keeping children and young people safe in Lancashire.”
Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "Protecting victims and vulnerable people is a key priority in my police and crime plan and I welcome the significant steps taken by the Constabulary to ensure children are safeguarded and the 'voice of the child' is being heard.
"Officers and staff are committed to keeping people safe and to making a difference every day to children's lives and I'm delighted this is recognised by the report, alongside our commitment to continuous improvement.
"The Constabulary is now found to be performing to a high level when it comes to protecting children from harm, delivering the high quality service that children across the county need and deserve, which is testament to all the work being undertaken."