Gwent Police praised for child protection services

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has praised Gwent Police and partners following an independent review into the force’s child protection services.

The review by the Care Inspectorate Wales was carried out in partnership with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation and Estyn.

It focussed on child protection arrangements in Newport, looking at the police, local authority, healthcare, probation service and partner organisations.

In particular, Gwent Police was praised for:

  • Making a significant investment in the team responsible for investigating child abuse;
  • Installing a dedicated social worker in the force control room to support officers with safeguarding issues;
  • Providing training to more than 1,000 officers on adverse childhood experiences, including domestic violence and drug abuse in the family, through the Early Action Together Programme which is funded by the Home Office and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent;
  • Creating a safeguarding hub with Newport City Council to share information and make better decisions faster; and
  • Strong partnership working.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “This independent review confirms that the Chief Constable and I are delivering on our commitment to improve the way Gwent Police safeguards children and protects the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“I am particularly pleased that it picked up on the use of social workers in the force control room and the Early Action Together Program, which were both initiatives that were driven by my office.

“We must never be complacent and there are always opportunities to refine and improve services. However, I am confident that, along with our key strategic partners, we will continue to improve policing’s response to vulnerable children.”

The review follows a report published earlier this year by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies, Fire & Rescue Service, which concluded that Gwent Police had made significant improvements in the area of child protection.

Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “We’re committed to protecting and reassuring the most vulnerable within our society. Through partnership working and robust training, officers and staff are able to best respond to those children in need of our help.

“I’m pleased to see that our commitment to child protection has been highlighted as a strength within the recent joint inspectorate report.

“As an organisation we understand that there is always more we can do to provide an improved service to the communities of Gwent.

“We’ve already made great strides by implementing a number of changes to further develop our; partnership working; quality assurance; and overarching resourcing to this key area.”

The full report is available on the Care Inspectorate Wales website.