‘Significant’ improvements from police

Northamptonshire Police have significantly improved child protection, although there is still more to do, says an inspection report.

Inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) visited the force in October 2013, following an audit in January last year that found a series of failings, including that vulnerable child offenders had been detained in cells when they should have been sent home.

The report says Northamptonshire Police has “made significant progress in child protection arrangements”, by working better with children’s social care, the NHS, and probation.

The audit did not find any cases where children were exposed to significant harm due to omissions by police.

Chief Supt Paul Phillips said: “We’re really, really pleased with the report. We are not being complacent but children are now safer than they were because of Northamptonshire Police.

“When an officer goes out to that burglary, they now need to look at the people in front of them and ask, is there any child neglect or abuse going on?”