Police investigations into allegations of historical child sex abuse have been branded “inadequate” in a new report, which claims more than one-third of such inquiries are substandard.
Inspectorate of Constabulary’s latest report found the police
response to 38 percent of child abuse inquiries in a sample of
nearly 600 was inadequate.
Of the 576 cases considered in the report, 177 were deemed of a
good standard, 179 regarded as merely adequate, while 220 were
viewed as inadequate.
In one of the cases, social workers blamed the cause of a
four-year-old girl’s vaginal bleeding on eczema, despite her
claiming she’d been abused by a family member.
Poor handling of such cases could fail an entire generation, they
A second report, “Online and On the Edge: Real risks in the
Virtual World into Online Abuse,” revealed that police
handling of online child abuse was even worse.
A sample of 124 online abuse cases found that 52 percent were not
Despite dedication of police in tackling online child abuse
vital opportunities to protect children are being missed
– NSPCC (@NSPCC) July 2,
report today: over half of police investigations into child
abuse inadequate. Children exposed to police postcode lottery
– NSPCC (@NSPCC) July 2,
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
(NSPCC) revealed more than 23,000 child abusers were workers in
the UK last year. It also found 2,800 children were identified as
needing protection from pedophiles.
Another NSPCC report revealed over 1,000 young people contacted
ChildLine last year to seek help over online sexual abuse.
Commenting on the report findings, NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless says
it’s a “damning indictment of police forces” that investigations
into online child abuse are so inadequate.
Despite commitment and dedication among officers tackling these
“dark crimes,” opportunities to protection children
“are being missed by the police,” Wanless said in a
“Backlogs in forensic analysis of seized devices, lack of
training, supervision and poor prioritization” means the
police response is just “scratching the surface of crimes
committed,” he added.
The report also highlighted that officers simply don’t believe
children in many cases, and in other cases children were arrested
and accused of lying when reporting an offense.
This has made it harder for children to open up about being
abused. An NSPCC report titled, “Child abuse and neglect in
the UK today” shows that 1 in 3 children who are sexually
abused don’t speak up.
Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the Association of Chief
Police Officers’ lead officer on child protection and abuse
investigations, admitted that the police need to change their
approach to “protect the public from harm committed on or
“This requires a cultural shift away from largely reactive
policing that targets acquisitive crime with success measures by
crime statistics and conviction rates,” he told The
“It must be supported by all agencies that work with children
getting better at spotting signs of abuse, cruelty or neglect and
intervening early to protect harm.”
Home Office minister Karen Bradley accepted such investigations
are “difficult and complex work” but insists police forces
“must do all they can to improve child sex abuse and
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Dru Sharpling said the
findings suggest that police will “have to adapt to a
substantial new challenge.”
Children “must be placed at the head of what policing does
next,” she added.
This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.