Commenting on the findings of the HMICFRS inspection of child protection by Cleveland Police, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger said:
“This independent report acknowledges the deep commitment to child protection that is evident within Cleveland Police and my own office.
“The headline summary of the report is that the work being done in this area by the force is successfully improving outcomes for vulnerable children and translating into positive action in child protection work.
“This is the latest in a series of independent reports across many areas of force activity which have reached the clear conclusion that Cleveland Police is improving and delivering a better service to local people. It is a clear reflection of the dedicated work of police officers and staff which should be welcomed by all and applauded.
“The report also highlights areas for improvement and I intend to do all I can to ensure that this improvement takes place.
“On behalf of the public of Cleveland I hold the Force to account - I shall be holding a full scrutiny session in which senior officers will be called to address the areas of concern raised in this report and to outline clear steps that will be taken to tackle these areas – and build upon improvements that have already been made since the HMI inspected the Force. Where child protection is concerned there can be no complacency.
“Let no-one be in any doubt, with more resources we could do more to protect the vulnerable, cuts to funding and officer numbers impact upon our ability to do this.
“In the past fortnight central Government has effectively removed £500,000 from our budget in order to fund a bonus to officers. To fund this we will have to take money allocated elsewhere.
“This money should have come from Government and should have been in the form of a consolidated pay rise, rather than a one-off bonus.
“Cleveland Police will do all they can to protect local children. What is also required is for central Government to show that same resolve and I shall again be making clear to the Home Secretary that cuts to the police budget must end if we are to pro-actively protect children and the most vulnerable in society.”
Posted on Thursday 21st September 2017