The National Child Protection Inspections: 2019 thematic report was published today by the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate,which the Minister for the Home Department says is "critical to our ability to monitor progress and drive change."
The report summarises the findings of 64 inspections and re-inspections of police forces approaches to child protection.
Child protection relates to protecting children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect.
Victoria Atkins: Child protection is "priority for this Government"
The Minister for the Home Office, Victoria Atkins, told MPs that the National Child Protection Inspections: 2019 thematic report was published today.
She said that "keeping our children safe is an absolute priority for this Government".
The National Child Protection Inspections has been running for 5 years and has "been a vital source of independent scrutiny and challenge, and instrumental in driving improvements to the way police work with vulnerable children."
The Minister continued:
"We've announced £25 million of targeted investment across 2019-20 and 2020-21 to strengthen the law enforcement response to county lines and increase the support available for children, young people and the families that are effected."
"We recognise that by the time children experience these forms of exploitation the harm has been done. Police and other services need to spot the signs of risk and intervene earlier."
Louise Haigh MP: "This report is utterly damning"
Responding on behalf of the Opposition, Louise Haigh, Shadow Minister for the Home Office, said that the report is "damming and should shame us".
The Shadow Minister told MPs:
"It [the report] finds that the current system of protecting the most vulnerable children in our country is unsustainable, the approach of the police forces is not proactive enough and that vulnerable children are simply not being identified or protected. Resources and the failures and variability of partnership working are identified as key concerns."
Ms Haigh added:
"It comes on the same day as a leaked Government report into the drug trade which shows vulnerable children falling into the grip of gangs at an unprecedented rate."
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