More training for police in child protection after baby death

Northamptonshire Police
Northamptonshire Police
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Police officers and staff are to receive training to help them better deal with child protection in the wake of a report into the death of a four-week-old county baby.

The report, which was reported on here by the Telegraph, highlighted poor communication issues between partner agencies such as the police and social services.

It concerned the death of a month-old baby, given the pseudonym Maisie Harrison.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Lingley, from Northamptonshire Police, said: “We recognised through this review that there were times where a different course of action could have been taken. However, regardless of the action taken, there is nothing to suggest that the tragic death of Maisie could have been prevented.

“As the review rightly highlighted, there was some confusion over the initial meeting that was held. The police will always attend child protection conferences, as we subsequently did in this case. However, it is not routine for us to attend pre-birth professionals meetings. We did on this occasion send a full report to the meeting.

“We now ensure that information which is contained about individuals in our intelligence system, forms a key part of the child protection process. Key information about individuals involved in looking after a child, such as a violent past – whether current or historic, is shared with the relevant agencies, so that more informed decisions can be made about the welfare of that child.

Det Ch Insp Lingley said that the crime records of Maisie’s father could have been shared with other agencies.

He added: “Coming out of the review we have also introduced a 12 month training programme so that officers and staff are more equipped to deal with child protection. They are aware of how to appropriately challenge professionals from other agencies if they feel enough is not being done.

“Frontline officers have also been better trained to recognise signs where a child could potentially be at risk when dealing with any kind of incident that they may attend.”

The Serious Case Review report into Maisie’s death can be found at www.lscbnorthamptonshire.org.uk/pro_scr.html.