Lancashire Police's significant improvements in child protection after weaknesses highlighted last year

Lancashire Constabulary has made significant improvements in the way it deals with the protection of children
Lancashire Constabulary has made significant improvements in the way it deals with the protection of children

Police in Lancashire have significantly improved the way they protect children, says a new report published today.

In March last year a number of weaknesses were highlighted in Lancashire Constabulary’s work in this area

But the latest report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) notes that the force has taken significant steps to address the issues and to improve the protection of children.

The HMICFRS found the force 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.

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.

“Officers and staff are now much more child-focused and recognise that safeguarding is the responsibility of us all.

“We are not complacent and we recognise that there are areas where we can progress further.”

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.”