HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) is encouraged by the progress Cumbria Constabulary has made in improving how it protects children, and is assured of the continuing commitment of the constabulary to making further improvements.
As part of a rolling programme of child protection inspections of all police forces in England and Wales, HMICFRS assessed Cumbria Constabulary in 2016. This inspection found that, despite a clear commitment to protecting children, there were some areas for improvement. In particular, the constabulary was not as involved as it should have been in the initial partnership assessment and prioritisation of risks to vulnerable children.
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HMICFRS carried out a post-inspection review in June 2017, and was pleased to find:
- the constabulary has taken some important steps to address the recommendations from HMICFRS’ 2016 inspection;
- the commitment and dedication to change displayed by the chief officer team in particular are evident, impressive, and widely recognised by the staff and officers with whom we spoke during this inspection;
- the constabulary continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to improving services for the protection of vulnerable people; and
- the constabulary has also reviewed its public protection structures, systems and processes, and invested extra resources in child protection.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said:
“Following our re-inspection, I am pleased to report a significantly improved picture in regard to child protection in Cumbria Constabulary. The constabulary has acted decisively in our response to the 2016 inspection, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving outcomes for children. It has reviewed its public protection structures, and invested extra resources in child protection. Although these changes are still very new, it’s clear that the constabulary has made significant improvements to how it recognises and responds to child sexual exploitation, in particular the risk of exploitation faced by children who regularly go missing from home.
“Cumbria Constabulary recognises the challenges it faces, and understands what is needed to ensure it provides consistently good services for children.”
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Notes to editors
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) is inspecting the child protection work of every police force in England and Wales. The reports are intended to provide information for the police, the police and crime commissioner (PCC) and the public on how well children are protected and their needs are met, and to secure improvements for the future. In the last 12 months, HMICFRS has published reports on:
- Gloucestershire Constabulary – published June 2017
- Leicestershire Police – published June 2017
- Under the National Child Protection Inspection (NCPI) programme, HMICFRS will assess how effectively each force in England and Wales safeguards children and young people at risk, make recommendations to forces for improving child protection practice, highlight effective practice in child protection work and drive improvements in forces’ child protection practice.
- Follow up activity by HMICFRS is an integral part of the NCPI programme. It allows inspectors to assess the progress each force is making in its work to improve services for the safety and protection of children. HMICFRS aims to revisit each force no later than six months after the publication of the initial NCP inspection report to assess how it is managing the implementation of the recommendations.
- In July 2015, HMICFRS published ‘In harm’s way: the role of the police in keeping children safe’ – based on findings from 21 inspections on the police response to child protection conducted over the last two years. This incorporates inspections from the first eight forces inspected under the NCPI programme.
- HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest, and assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence. HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies.
- On 19 July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
- For further information, HMICFRS’ press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMICFRS’ out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.