Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Essex Police is letting down vulnerable victims, HMIC report finds

22:49 14 December 2015

Domestic abuse (stock image). Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

Domestic abuse (stock image). Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

But the force is addressing “significant weaknesses” over how it tackles domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation (CSE) incidents.

Essex Police was one of only four forces to receive an “inadequate” rating in a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) assessing police force’s effectiveness at protecting vulnerable people from harm.

Inspectors examined how forces respond to and safeguard those who are vulnerable in some way, with a focus on missing and absent children, victims of domestic abuse and how well prepared they are to tackle CSE.

Zoe Billingham, who led the investigations, said: “Essex Police is committed to supporting victims and protecting vulnerable people from harm, but too often its response is poor. There are significant weaknesses in the force’s response to victims of domestic abuse, its response to missing and absent children and in its preparedness to tackle child sexual exploitation.

“The risk to children from households where there is domestic abuse is sometimes overlooked. The force is generally unprepared to tackle child sexual exploitation and it has a poor understanding of the nature and scale of the problem. The risk to missing children is sometimes assessed inappropriately potentially leaving vulnerable children at risk.

“There is confusion about the roles and responsibilities of the officers dealing with victims judged to be at medium and standard risk of harm which results in safeguarding opportunities in respect of victims being missed.

“Not all officers responsible for investigating cases where the victim is at high risk of harm are appropriately trained and experienced.”

But she said the force is “generally good” at identifying vulnerable victims. She said: “An increased force focus on offenders has meant that the proportion of those arrested for domestic abuse who are then prosecuted is increasing,” she said.

“The force recognises the work it has to do. It is encouraging that the force’s senior leadership team has already taken a range of actions aimed at addressing the shortcomings identified by this inspection. We will be closely monitoring how Essex Police responds to our finding.”

Essex Police Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “It is a profoundly disappointing report, but a huge amount of work has been under way for the last two years and more to improve how Essex Police protects vulnerable people.

“With evil crimes like this, we can’t afford the risk of letting victims down, but every day I see and hear stories of us doing the right thing, asking the right questions, taking the right actions and getting evil predators away from vulnerable people.

“I give the people of Essex my commitment that we will not rest until we have improved our culture as a force and the processes by which we work. If you are at risk of abuse or experiencing it, or know someone who is, then please call us. We will do everything we can to help protect you.”

Ch Cons Kavanagh added that, since the inspection six months ago, the force has introduced a “special team” to investigate incidents involving children to identify their risk of CSE and take action.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Beach huts at Brightlingsea in more recent days

Rows of colourful beach huts, lush green fields packed with caravans and a neat little line of rowing boats combine to create the perfect holiday scene.

Tia-Jade Webb after her weight loss, pictured with Iwan Thomas.

A 21-year-old from Suffolk is celebrating after being named as one of the best slimmers in the country.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust is urging people to help reduce demand this bank holiday weekend. Photograph Simon Parker

The ambulance service is urging people in Suffolk to take extra care this bank holiday weekend after calls to the service increased by 17% at the same time last year.

Royal Hospital School pupils Nick Sims, Libby Parker, Harry Hindley, Fergus Atkins, Dominic Curtis, Lauryn Marshall, Connor Ryan, Anna-Marie Khan and Fraser McGready with Sir Ben Kinsley

Pupils from the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook were among those who headed to Trafalgar Square on Monday to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of Jutland.

A cordon around the Inkerman pub in Norwich Road, Ipswich following the assault

A man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after a 63-year-old received serious head injuries during an early morning assault outside an Ipswich pub.

EDF Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz appears before the Energy and Climate Change Committee to answer questions over the delay in making a final investment decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear power project. Picture: PA Wire

A committee of MPs has been told that the sister station for a proposed third nuclear power plant on the Suffolk coast will go ahead despite a fresh delay in making a final investment decision.

File image of Colchester High Street.

A massive investment of £50million has been pledged to improve Colchester’s travel network.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24