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  1. ITV Report

Devon & Cornwall Police criticised for 'delays' in child protection

HMIC found that there were delays in responding to child exploitation cases Photo: ITV News

Devon and Cornwall Police has been criticised for "delays" in its child protection work.

The Inspectorate of Constabulary found its arrangements for dealing with children still requires improvement. Specifically there were delays in responding to youngsters at risk of sexual exploitation:

We found delays to child protection investigations, as well as delays in responding to cases where children were at risk of sexual exploitation. These delays can result in children being at risk of significant harm, and need to be addressed promptly. The force also needs to improve how it liaises with local authorities, in order to prevent children being detained unnecessarily in police custody.

Although there are areas of concern, we are encouraged by the progress the force has made in other areas, and HMIC will continue monitor its performance closely.

– Wendy Williams, HM Inspector of Constabulary

Devon and Cornwall Police has welcomed some aspects of the report, from HMIC, which highlights how the force is making progress. They insist they're continuing to train staff to better identify the warning signs:

We have trained over 2000 officers and continue to train all our frontline staff so the can better identify risks and investigate child protection concerns.

– Det Supt. Keith Perkin