Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has commented on South Yorkshire Police’s ‘inconsistent approach’ in its response to child sexual exploitation, following an inspection commissioned by PCC Shaun Wright.
In a report published this week, it highlighted:
· Staff feedback suggesting that local management emphasis remains on volume crime, such as burglary and vehicle crime
· A lack of support by ‘local resources’ such as intelligence-gathering teams in relation to child sexual exploitation
· Varying approaches and effectiveness across the force area, albeit with pockets of ‘good practice’ in areas such as Sheffield City
· Concern over the incompletion of a small number of case files reviewed by the Inspectorate.
More positively, the inspection also found that both the PCC and South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton are committed to responding to child sexual exploitation, resulting in 1,700 frontline staff receiving specialist training this year.
Speaking of the inspection, HMIC’s Roger Baker said: “HMIC recognises the commitment of the PCC and chief constable to making child sexual exploitation a force priority. However, we have concerns that this is not properly being disseminated across local policing districts, and that as a result, children are not always being adequately protected.
“This situation must not be allowed to continue. It is unarguably of paramount importance that all children in South Yorkshire receive the same high levels of protection, regardless of the policing district in which they live.”