§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what improvements to child protection measures have been instituted by police forces since the publication of the Laming Report. 662W
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 11 September 2003]: The Government response to the Victoria Climbié Inquiry Report was published on 8 September as an annex to the Green Paper, "Every Child Matters". The response directly addresses the recommendations made by Lord Laming to the police and the Home Office.
One key improvement we have made is to issue revised guidance to the police on the appropriate use of police protection powers. The Home Office Circular for this purpose was published on 8 September and has been issued to all Chief Constables.
In the National Policing Plan 2003–06, we asked all police forces to address their child protection service as part of local policing plan priorities, and this was reflected in all plans received by the Home Office in March 2003.
In addition, we understand that the Association of Chief Police Officers has prepared draft standards for child protection policing. These will be produced by the National Centre of Policing Excellence by the end of 2003 as part of a manual of guidance.