Responding to today's report from HMIC into child protection, Steve Pick, Acting Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“I welcome the thorough review carried out by HMIC and the findings and recommendations contained in the report. I recognise that the inspectors found that improvements had been made by the time the inspection was carried out in May this year, in how South Yorkshire Police deal with child protection issues, and I know that a vast amount of additional work has been carried out since May. However, it is very clear that more needs to be done as a matter of urgency and I am reassured that the Chief Constable is accepting all recommendations in the report and continuing to implement the on-going robust improvement measures that have already been put into action.
“I’ll be meeting with the Chief Constable in the coming days to discuss the findings, review the further improvement measures which he has introduced since May and to agree the additional improvement actions as outlined in the report to ensure that children across the whole of South Yorkshire receive the best possible level of protection .I am certain that this is a matter which needs continuing attention and cannot be left to one side pending the election of a new Commissioner for South Yorkshire and as such, I will be working regularly with the Chief Constable on this issue as a priority.
“In particular, I’ll be looking closely at how the newly formed centralised referral unit and the new centralised public protection unit have been developed and improved since the inspection was carried out in May. The purpose of this centralised approach is to bring performance across the whole of South Yorkshire up to the highest possible standard by sharing best practice. A consistent high standard of custody and care for young people should also be expected and it is unacceptable that young people in some areas have not always received the level of care they should have in this respect. The Children in Care Liaison Officer pilot scheme is designed to provide a direct link in to care homes with the aim of preventing offending and additionally, to ensure appropriate accommodation is available to young people where required. I’ll be looking closely at the level of impact these measures have had in how the force has been dealing with child protection issues since May.”
Posted on Tuesday 30th September 2014