AN inspection into provisions shielding at risk children in Denbighshire have been declared effective – but some improvements are still necessary.

The inspection into North Wales Police by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has determined that the force performs at a ‘generally good standard’ with respect to child protection and safeguarding as well as investigating reports of child abuse.

The report identified effective working arrangements between control room staff and frontline response officers, leading to better decisions about the best strategies y to protect children and good investigations conducted by specialist officers.

Detective Superintendent Gareth Evans said: “We welcome the scrutiny of HMICFRS in this area of work which is of such importance to us and our communities. It is reassuring that our ability to immediately safeguard children in partnership with other agencies has been highlighted and no cases have been identified where we have failed to prevent someone being harmed.”

The HMICFRS did also identify some areas for improvement, including the practices it uses to manage those who pose a risk to children.

Det Supt Evans added: “As is the case with all forces that have been inspected, there are areas for improvement. We accept these and will work with HMICFRS as a critical friend to improve.

“This area of police work has seen large increases in demand nationally since 2012 which has coincided with austerity and seen our resources stretched.

"North Wales Police are now capitalising on the current national funding increase to reconsider our resourcing across all areas in line with the threat risk and harm. Child protection sits clearly within the force priorities at the top of this list and we anticipate being able to invest in this area to improve.”

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said: “Child protection work is one of the most important duties any force carries out. It is crucial that police forces identify children who are at risk of harm and intervene in a sensitive and appropriate manner.

“I am therefore pleased overall with the results of our inspection into North Wales Police, which revealed that the force is doing a good job at protecting children from harm.”

“What really came across during our inspection was the genuine commitment to child protection and safeguarding. We saw this commitment at all levels, from the force’s senior leadership to frontline officers and support staff.”