Surrey

Surrey Police child abuse investigations 'improved'

Breck Bednar and his mother Lorin LaFave Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Surrey Police was warned about the safety of Breck Bednar, 14, by his mother before he was stabbed to death by a teenager he met online

Surrey Police has improved how it protects vulnerable victims but "still has work to do", a government inspector has said.

Last December the force was rated inadequate for the way it handles child abuse and missing people inquires.

A new inspection has found "good progress" with 117 additional staff and officers to investigate domestic abuse, sexual offences and paedophiles.

But the problem of missing children was still not fully understood.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) also said the force had improved how it deals with child sexual exploitation, although some posts were still to be filled.

Last November an inquiry found Surrey Police failed to deal properly with a mother's concerns her son was being groomed. Breck Bednar, 14, from Caterham was stabbed to death by a teenager he met online.

The recently-appointed chief constable Nick Ephgrave admitted his force had been "in a difficult place".

The county's new police and crime commissioner David Munro praised the progress and said he wanted "improvement embedded within Surrey Police and to ensure that vulnerable victims have a greater voice".

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