Northampton

Northamptonshire Police child protection improved, inspectors say

A force criticised for having a "wholly inadequate" child protection regime last year has "significantly improved", the policing watchdog said.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary revisited Northamptonshire Police in October, after an initial inspection in January raised "significant concerns".

Its new report concluded vulnerable children were "now made safer".

However, it said "the force still has work to do" training its staff.

Last January, HMIC inspectors found a number of failings including inadequate resources allocated to child protection, delays in sharing information about children at risk, and failing to refer children to other agencies.

'Better protected'

Officials visited Northamptonshire Police again in March and June, before re-inspecting it in October.

It concluded the force had made improvements throughout the year and had made "a significant investment in its response to child protection".

Officers had been provided with specialist training and working practices had been changed, it said.

"Although the force still has work to do, particularly in the delivery of training to front-line staff, children are now made safer due to the efforts of members of Northamptonshire Police," the report concluded.

Chief Constable Adrian Lee, said: "Senior leaders have been given time to develop and improve their understanding of child protection and a programme of training, focused on children, is being delivered to front-line staff to increase their knowledge and understanding.

"All these improvements mean that children are now better protected by the police than they were at the time of the initial inspection in January 2013."

HMIC will re-inspect Northamptonshire Police this year as part of its national programme of child protection inspections.

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