Thames Valley Police have promised to do better after a damning report said it needs to improve how it keeps children safe.

The examination by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found only 25 per cent of the 70 cases it examined involving at-risk children were sound.

The force showed inconsistency in child protection governance, inadequate utilisation of intelligence and ineffective auditing of children's voices.

Thames Valley Police's crime commissioner  Matthew Barber has responded to the inspection report, which took place in May. 

FULL STORY: Thames Valley Police child protection services failing, says report

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, said: "I am committed to the protection of children and vulnerable people and I recognise the effective practices that are being delivered by Thames Valley Police to keep children safe. 

“It is clear from HMICFRS’s Child Protection Inspection however that areas of improvement are required to ensure Thames Valley Police is providing a consistent service to its communities.

“The protection of children is of the most serious of issues and any potential weaknesses in systems need to be closely examined. 

"I will be exploring the recommendations made by the Inspectorate in more detail and monitoring their implementation with the Chief Constable.”

The force itself said they take the conclusions from the report "seriously".

Deputy Chief Constable Ben Snuggs said: “We have carefully reviewed the findings of the National Child Protection Inspection report released by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) on 7th November 2023 and we take its conclusions seriously. We appreciate the efforts made by HMICFRS to provide this comprehensive insight in to our Child Protection practices across Thames Valley.

"We are pleased the report recognised the determination and dedication of officers and staff to develop innovative practice and a positive child-focused culture within the organisation.

“Since the inspection in May 2023, we have taken significant steps to address the concerns and recommendations highlighted in the report and we are fully committed to making the further necessary changes to address the areas for improvement diligently and expeditiously.

“We will continue to build upon our strong collaborative relationships with key partners to ensure TVP practices adhere to the highest standards of quality and integrity and we remain resolute in our commitment to place victims at the centre of our work and improving our service.”