NSPCC presses for extension of police child protection training
The NSPCC has called for all police officers to receive in-depth child protection training after it emerged that members of a new police taskforce will receive instruction on the issue.
Under Home Office plans, all 4,000 officers of the National Crime Agency (NCA), due to be launched later this year, will receive training on spotting the signs of child abuse – with different levels of training for different officers.
The NCA is set to take on the remits of both the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
The NSPCC said that while it welcomed the training announcement, it wants ministers to go further by ensuring adequate child protection training is in place for all police officers.
Jon Brown, head of strategy and development at the charity, said: “If it is additional investment in child abuse training for those officers, it is clearly to be welcomed because undoubtedly opportunities have been missed in many child abuse and child sexual exploitation cases due to a lack of knowledge.
“But there is also a real value in multi-agency, multi-disciplinary training for all police officers.
“There are many child abuse cases day-in, day-out that children’s services and police are having to investigate and manage, and the vast majority will fall outside the remit of the NCA.
“We would like to see similar investment in local level, multi-agency child abuse training.”
Brown said that current training for police varies “from area to area”.
“Certainly we know that multi-agency child protection training has been squeezed as a result of budget cuts and that is a concern,” he said.
The move to provide NCA officers with child protection training follows the conviction of grooming rings in Oxford, Rochdale, Rotherham and Telford, and the case of four-year-old Daniel Pelka who was beaten and starved by his mother and her partner.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Child abuse is an evil crime and we are determined to stamp down on anyone who seeks to harm the most vulnerable members of society.
“The NCA will see more resources devoted to tackling paedophiles and child abusers, whether they seek to commit their horrific crimes in person or online.
“The NCA will carry out this vital work as part of a radical transformation in the way we tackle the damage inflicted by serious, organised and complex crime on the UK.”
Source: CYPNow Online