Child Failings At Dyfed-Powys Police

Dyfed-Powys Police have been told they've got to improve the way officers handle cases involving children.

A new report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary's found failings in child protection investigations.

There were concerns that staff weren’t recognising the links between missing children and child sexual exploitation.

In one case a 14-year-old girl in the force area had been reported missing by her mum 7 times.

The teenager had previously been found in a house with older men, but there were no long-term plans in place to protect her.

In police records she was described as an “attention seeker”, something that HMIC claims further exposed her to risks of sexual exploitation.

The report also noted delays in investigations.

In November 2013 an allegation of sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy was reported to the force and 10 months later, the police prosecution file still wasn’t ready to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

HMIC has made several recommendations to Dyfed-Powys Police to make sure things improve.

Inspectors say staff need to be better trained to understand and be more aware of risks to children.

They also say cases that have taken more than three months to investigate are identified and reviewed.

Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon says they're taking everything on board:

“There are some positive messages about the committment of Dyfed-Powys Police.

“But there are also some concerns.

“With the Chief Constable we’ll discuss about how we improve our protection of vulnerable young children.”