Procedure - South Wales Police

Last Reviewed:
Child Protection and Safeguarding Children and Young
This document applies to employees of the:
Version Number:
Chief Constable
To provide officers and staff with guidance to effectively deal with child abuse
investigations and to safeguard children and young people.
Initial Report
The first point of contact determines the classification of incident and the appropriate level
of response. Where the Public Service Centre (PSC) task an officer to attend a Child
Protection related incident, it is their responsibility to ensure all relevant intelligence checks
are conducted, recorded onto NSPIS/NICHE OEL as appropriate and disseminated to the
attending officer in a timely manner.
First Responding officer
In all incidents relating to child concerns the first officer response must adhere to the
general golden hour principles. Report takers or the first attending officer must obtain
record and disseminate (as appropriate) the following information, prioritising it in
accordance with the circumstances. It must be taken into consideration that this is a
generic list and is not exhaustive.
 location of the incident
 location of the suspect and victim (and any other children in the same household, e.g.
 whether anyone is injured, nature and severity of injuries and whether medical
assistance is required
 whether any weapons have been used
 whether any weapons are available to the suspect
 location and identity of the person making the report and the capacity in which they are
doing so, e.g. neighbour or family member
 nature of the incident or concern
 identity and details of the victim and any other children, including names (correctly
spelt) sex, dates of birth, home addresses, telephone numbers and whether they are
 identity of other parties involved, including the suspect, their names (correctly spelt)
sex, dates of birth, home addresses, telephone numbers
 whether communication or language issues exist and whether officers will require an
interpreter or a registered intermediary.
 whether any person present appears drunk or has taken drugs
 whether there are any particular requirements, for example, relating to disability and/or
mental ill health
 description of the suspect
whether any court orders apply
a first account or what the caller says has occurred (recording it verbatim)
details of the children’s school and GP, if known
whether there is any history of involvement of children’s social care
details of the demeanour of the caller, victim, suspect and others present
details of background noise (including shouting and words spoken)
details of attempts made to trace anonymous callers, e.g., telephone tracing
whether the child or suspect has a computer
internet service provider, email address and user names.
officer to submit a Public Protection Notification (PPN)
Police response to concern for a child
Public Protection Notification (PPN) Form
The new PPN is an information sharing document which allows officers to record
safeguarding concerns when identified. Where these concerns exist for any child, a PPN
MUST be completed on Niche for officers to record their rationale. Upon completion the
PPN must be tasked to the BCU PPU for their information and assessment. This
information will then be reviewed by a member of PPU specialist staff within the referral
unit, risk assessed and actioned. Where necessary the PPN will be forwarded to partner
agencies for their information and further action.
PPN Process Flow Chart
Know How TV - Guide to Completing Public Protection Notification (PPN)
Safeguarding the child’s welfare
Where an officer has assessed that a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm, they
must decide how to safeguard that child and place them out of danger. Sometimes it may
be sufficient to secure a child’s immediate safety by a parent or carer taking action to have
the alleged perpetrator removed, or by the alleged perpetrator agreeing to leave the home.
If this is not deemed appropriate or sufficient, officers must consider utilising their powers
of arrest and Police Protection Powers (PPP).
Police Protection Powers (PPP)
Compulsory powers to remove a child from their family usually lies with a court, however
there are occasions where an officer of at least the rank of Inspector can authorise the
removal of a child. This can occur when a child has been seen by an Officer AND the
officer has judged that there is a risk to the life of a child or a likelihood of serious
immediate harm. If this is the case, the officer must act quickly to secure the immediate
safety of the child.
Police Protection Powers (PPP’s)
To assist officers in safeguarding vulnerable children and young people and to ensure the
long term safety of that child, officers must consider using their Police Powers of
Protection .The following aide memoire will assist:
Always ASPIRE to do your best
ARRESTING a suspect can help ensure the protection of a child through the
application of legally binding bail conditions which can keep the child out of harms
SECURING and preserving evidence at the earliest opportunity could be critical for
any subsequent prosecution or safeguarding intervention.
PHOTOGRAPH what you see. Include images of out-of-date food, empty
cupboards and fridges, unhealthy sleeping conditions and cooking facilities, notable
features such as faeces on carpets, dirty nappies, piles of dirty clothing and
smashed glass are some indicators of neglect. Highlight the same to CSI
photographers at the scene.
INITIAL first accounts and statements made by any suspects must be recorded.
Describe your experience fully; be as graphic / detailed as you need to be in order
to convey the full circumstances to others.
RECORD all the actions you have undertaken fully, including any that are
outstanding, on the occurrence. Crime it! Always submit a PPN
EMERGENCY DUTY TEAM must be contacted out-of hours and will be responsible
for placing the children in a place of safety. EDT contact numbers are available
online or with your local PPU.
Powers of Police Protection Check list
Role of the Child Abuse Investigation Units (CAIU)
The aim of the CAIU is to protect and safeguard children, investigate child abuse offences
and where appropriate, prosecute offenders. Officers will attend multi agency strategy
meetings and child protection case conferences to discuss children and young persons at
risk. To assist with the child protection case conference process a conference report
MUST be prepared for all case conferences and submitted to the chairperson in advance
of the meeting. Child Protection staff MUST attend all initial case conferences, if there is
no police representation available to attend the initial conference, a robust supervisor
rationale must be updated on the occurrence entry log.
On receipt of the case conference minutes, they must be checked for accuracy by the
attending officer.
All the attached meeting minutes (Strategy/Professional Discussion/Meeting, Initial/Review
Case Conferences etc) are to be linked to the relevant person(s) record (discussed at the
meeting) within the relevant Niche Occurrence. Public Protection Units across the force
now have the agreement with Social services to attach ALL case conference and strategy
minutes onto Niche.
Process to follow on receipt of minutes from Children’s Services1
The CAIU officers within the PPU referral unit will also review all child protection related
PPN’ s and risk assess accordingly, disseminating to partners if any safeguarding action is
required. BCU Commanders are responsible for officers within their respective Public
Protection Units, of which CAIU are a part.
Referral Unit CAIU Process Flow Chart
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
CSE and trafficking is a form of child abuse – children and young people who are sexually
exploited often find it difficult to report their ordeal at the time the incident occurred. This is
because of fear of not being believed or feeling ashamed. They may also not realise they
are a victim and perceive themselves to be in a relationship with their potential abuser and
This is a restricted document for police eyes only
therefore try to protect them.
ACPO Definition - Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations,
contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive
'something' (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money)
as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual
activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the
child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the
Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting
the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect,
physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation
are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by
the child or young person's limited availability of choice resulting from their
social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
Responding to CSE College of Policing guidance must be read in conjunction with
Child Abuse Authorised Professional Practice
CPS (2013) Guidelines on Prosecuting Cases of Child Sexual Abuse and
Working Together Under the Children Act 2004 - Supplementary guidance –
Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation. (Wales 2011)
Niche Management
There is a CSE flag on the NICHE RMS system which officers must consider adding to the
record of any potential or suspected victim.
Always consider using the filter facility on NICHE RMS to show all historical information.
Missing children and young people must be considered as potential victims of CSE further
guidance can be found in the ACPO 2005 Guidance on the Management Recording and
Investigation of Missing Persons
Child Practice Reviews (CPR)
Child Practice Reviews may take place after a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse
or neglect is known or suspected. The purpose of a CPR is to identify learning for future
practice and involves practitioners, managers and senior officers in exploring the detail
and context of agencies’ work with a child and family. The review is then intended to
generate professional and organisational learning and promote improvement in future
inter-agency child protection practice.
Guidance documents are listed below.
 Protecting Children in Wales – Guidance for Arrangements for Multi Agency Child
Practice Reviews (2013)
 NSPCC Fact Sheet - Multi Agency child practice reviews in Wales
 Protecting Children in Wales – Guide for Organising and Facilitating Learning Events
Procedural Response to Unexpected Deaths in Childhood. (PRUDiC)
This procedure sets a minimum standard for a response to unexpected deaths in infancy
and childhood. It describes the process of communication, collaborative action and
information sharing following the unexpected death of a child.
 Procedural Response to unexpected Deaths in Childhood (PRUDIC) 2014
 Sudden and Unexplained Death
Emergency Care Pathway (ECP)– Children with Life Limiting Illnesses
(currently under review)
A joint protocol with all three health boards in South Wales has been developed in relation
to expected deaths of children with life limiting illnesses, namely the Emergency Care
Pathway. This differs from the sudden unexplained death of children that officers may be
expected to investigate on behalf of the Coroner.
The Public Protection Department, HQ in conjunction with the palliative care nurses who
have responsibility for these ill children, regularly review and agree a bespoke ECP for
each child which assists and ultimately prevents officers, in the majority of cases, from
investigating the death of a child expected to die from a life limiting illness.
If Police are requested to attend the death of an ECP child, officers will be provided with
information via NSPIS and Niche highlighting that an ECP is in place, offering a robust
rationale to officers not to investigate the death - unless officers have reason to suspect
that the circumstances of the death are unexplained or suspicious
Expected deaths of children (under review)
Early Care Pathway Form for Nurses
Domestic Abuse (DA)
Children in families for whom DA is a persistent feature in their lives are exposed to
significant risk of harm. Officers attending DA incidents must acknowledge and respond to
children and young people’s immediate needs. Welfare checks on children and young
people present at the location MUST be made and recorded appropriately. Details MUST
also be obtained of all children and young people resident at the address whether they are
present at the time of the incident or not.
College of Policing App Domestic Abuse - This guidance is currently under review (Oct
2014), until such time the below guidance documents remain current:
Safeguarding Children and Young People Affected by Domestic Abuse All Wales Practice
Guidance (2011)
Relationship Abuse
Officers must not under estimate the impact on children and young persons who may be in
an abusive/controlling relationship with each other. Any concerns must be highlighted on a
PPN and submitted to PPU officers to share the information and initiate support from
partner agencies where appropriate.
Domestic Abuse Definition
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour,
violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate
partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
Abuse in Relationships
Female Genital Mutilation
Some families see Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) of children as an act of love rather
than cruelty; however FGM causes significant harm both in the short and long term and
constitutes physical and emotional abuse to children.
FGM College of Policing - This guidance is currently under review (Oct 2014), until such
time the below guidance documents remain current:
All Wales Protocol FGM (20112)
Click here to view the full Guidance associated with this process
Are Available on NICHE via the person report.
 Early Care Pathway Form for Nurses
 ASPIRE Aide Memoire
 Child Interview Booklet
New guidance imminent 2014 -Communities and Partnerships