Thousands of police officers to get special training in child protection following series of cases
- Home Secretary Teresa May ordered special training be given to 4,000-plus officers in the National Crime Agency
- Move follows a string of child abuse scandals
- Officers will learn signs such as children being dirty and losing weight which were missed in the case of four-year-old Daniel Pelka
- Daniel died from head injuries after he was starved and tortured by his Polish mother Magdalena Luczak and her partner Mariusz Krezolek
Home Secretary Teresa May has ordered that special training in how to spot the signs of child abuse is given to the (NCA)
More than 4,000 police officers are to be trained in specialist child protection following a series of abuse scandals.
Home Secretary Teresa May has ordered that special training in how to spot the signs of child abuse be given to all 4,000-plus officers in the new National Crime Agency (NCA), nicknamed Britain’s FBI.
The move follows a string of child abuse scandals including the Jimmy Savile case and the exposure of grooming rings in Oxford, Telford, Rochdale and Rotherham.
A senior Home Office official said: ‘Every officer in the NCA is to receive specialist child protection training as part of a massive expansion in resources to deal with the threat of child abuse.
‘There will be different levels of training for different officers.
‘The training normal officers will receive will be on spotting the signs of child abuse, such as kids being dirty and losing weight – all the signs that were missed in the horrible case of Daniel Pelka recently.’
Daniel, four, died from head injuries last year after he was starved and tortured by his Polish mother Magdalena Luczak, and her partner Mariusz Krezolek, a wanted criminal who had fled to Britain from Poland.
The couple were given life sentences and ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years each for what the trial judge called their ‘incomprehensible brutality’.
However the jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard that local police, teachers, social workers, and doctors missed at least 26 chances to save Daniel from abuse.
Between them they made dozens of visits to his home but failed to raise the alarm.
Police were also called in after Daniel suffered a broken arm in 2011, doctors and social workers ruled there was no evidence of abuse. Subsequently Daniel was never interviewed.
Daniel Pelka died from head injuries last year after he was starved and tortured by his Polish mother Magdalena Luczak and her partner Mariusz Krezolek
Ministers want to prevent such tragedies happening again. Currently there are only a handful of officers in each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales with specialist training in child protection.
NCA officers will tackle organised crime such as human trafficking, drug importation and organised prostitution. It is believed they are more likely to come across the victims and perpetrators of child abuse then neighbourhood beat officers.
NCA’s role in tackling child abuse will be enhanced by the merger of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) agency into the organisation.
Ceop currently investigates paedophiles and sex abusers with specialist knowledge of internet-based crime. The director of Ceop will become the title ‘Children’s Champion’ within the new organisation.
The NCA, which will be formed in October, will also be given new powers to co-ordinate and guide regional police forces and crime fighting agencies such as the Border Force to deal with child abuse and trafficking.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Child abuse is an evil crime and we are determined to stamp down on anyone who seeks to harm the most vulnerable members of society.
‘The National Crime Agency will see more resources devoted to tackling paedophiles and child abusers, whether they seek to commit their crimes in person or online.
‘The NCA will carry out this vital work as part of a radical transformation in the way we tackle the damage inflicted by serious, organised and complex crime on the UK.’ The NCA will replace the discredited Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
SOCA has been embroiled in a row over the use of corrupt private investigators by law firms and insurance companies to steal private data, known as ‘blue chip hacking’.
The police organisation has been accused of failing to act despite holding evidence of wrong-doing by over 100 firms.
SOURCE: Daily Mail