Thousands of officers trained in child neglect prevention

A TRAINING programme to prevent child neglect has been delivered to more than 4,500 South Yorkshire police officers and staff.

Partner agencies working with youngsters have also taken part in the scheme, which aims to increase understanding of the topic.

Det Sgt Kath Coulter, who designed and wrote the programme, said: “We developed the Child Matters programme focused on a concept that every pair of child shoes should be filled with a child who is happy and safe.

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“If we do not act to protect and ensure the safety of children in South Yorkshire we will have empty shoes — and this is the sad truth.

“The police service is just one profession where officers and staff unfortunately come across situations where children are at risk of neglect, or they are being neglected and we felt it was vital for officers to have a greater understanding on how to manage these circumstances and bring these children to safety.”

Det Sgt Coulter said neglect offences were often linked to other forms of child abuse and exploitation.

She added: “With officers, staff and numerous partners now trained, it has led to an improved knowledge and a greater understanding of neglect, in particular recognising other areas of neglect such as emotional, medical and educational.

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“Incidents of neglect are thoroughly investigated, which in turn reduces the number of children left in situations which would otherwise present a significant risk of harm.

“We remind our staff that neglect covers things that might not always be obvious, we remind them that neglect is more than just a dirty house and to look beyond the obvious, be professionally curious and listen to the children who live in such environments.”

Report concerns about children to police, Crimestoppers, the NSPCC or Childline. Call 999 if there is immediate danger.


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