Northamptonshire Police 'still failing children at risk'

Dylan Tiffin-Brown Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Dylan Tiffin-Brown, two, was killed in December 2017

A police force that made mistakes in two toddlers' deaths is still failing vulnerable children, a report has said.

Northamptonshire Police was also criticised by inspectors for its handling of sex offenders, poor supervision and severe backlogs.

It came under fire in June for having "missed opportunities" before the murders of two children killed by their father figures.

The force said it was addressing the issues raised in the report.

Two-year-old Dylan Tiffin-Brown and one-year-old Evelyn-Rose Muggleton were killed in separate murders in December 2017 and April 2018, drawing criticism from the the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Dylan's father, Raphael Kennedy, 31, and Evelyn-Rose's mother's boyfriend, Ryan Coleman, 23, were both jailed for life for murder.

Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Evelyn-Rose Muggleton was described as a happy baby who was always smiling

Twenty-one child protection files were assessed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which found them all to require improvement or be inadequate.

It also flagged up that some of the force's partner organisations were ineffective.

Northamptonshire Police was told last year to improve how it managed sexual and violent offenders and responded to missing children.

'Urgent wake-up call'

Inspectors said, despite changes, progress overall had been slow and it was "not effectively managing risk yet".

Zoe Billingham, HM Inspector of Constabulary, said it was disappointing to see the same problems again.

"Our 2018 inspection should have been an urgent wake-up call. But too frequently Northamptonshire's most vulnerable children are still being poorly served by those who should protect them."

Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: "Work is well under way to address each of the report's recommendations and the force is committed unequivocally to carrying out all necessary improvements to ensure children are better protected in this county.

"We are confident this is a force which safeguards and protects children, and we are giving our officers and staff the tools they need to enable them to do this even more effectively."

Another inspection will be held within a year.

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