I see that the Home Secretary is reported by the Daily Mail as having “… ordered special child protection training be given to 4,000-plus officers in the National Crime Agency”. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396639/Teresa-May-Thousands-police-officers-special-training-child-protection.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
That seems a bit odd to me, as one of the Home Secretary’s
favourite refrains is ‘I don’t interfere in operational police matters’. But if
they say it in the Daily Mail then it must be true … surely!!
What I’m not at all clear about is that the new NationalCrime Agency (NCA), which will include the Child Exploitation and OnlineProtection Centre (CEOP), is to be a national body that will have a few staff
based in central locations. However, most child protection work in Britain is
undertaken by local authorities supported by local police forces.
I would certainly support more training in child protection
for local police officers, but I am not clear what the cost effectiveness is of
training NCA staff, some of whom will presumably be involved in dealing crimes like
with complex frauds.
It seems to me that what we want is some sort of national
training strategy for all staff engaged in child protection, with priorities
clearly identified. My gut feeling is that recognition and initial response to
abuse would be the area in which money spent on training would deliver the
greatest improvement in performance, but I accept that that is an empirical matter
which needs some research before priorities become set in stone.