Historical child abuse: "We will continue to learn lessons" says Nottinghamshire Police chief

Craig Guildford
Craig Guildford

Here is the full statement from Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford regarding the findings of the inquiry into historical chile abuse in county care homes

“First and foremost, I would like to pay tribute to the tenacity of the victims, survivors and their supporters, whose determination to have their story heard has led to this Inquiry and the subsequent publication of today’s report.

“As an organisation and as individuals, Nottinghamshire Police have been fully committed to supporting the Inquiry from the outset. I should reiterate that we will continue to work tirelessly to seek justice for all victims of sexual abuse, whenever the alleged offence took place.

“The report highlights areas of good practice and identifies areas where improvement was needed. Recognising those views, I can confidently say that while we are committed to continuing to learn lessons and uphold best practice, many of the improvements identified during the Inquiry have now, or had already, been embedded across our work.

“This progress was noted by the most recent HMICFRS inspection, which graded Nottinghamshire Police as 'good' at protecting people who are vulnerable, reducing crime and keeping people safe. At the time, HMI Zoë Billingham declared that she was ‘…particularly pleased that it [Nottinghamshire Police] has improved how it identifies and responds to vulnerable people and works effectively with other agencies to protect them’.

“It’s fair to say that a lot has been learned around the complexity of investigating non-recent allegations of child sexual abuse - not least in the need for us to dedicate specialist resources to this type of investigation. A dedicated team, with specialist officers and staff, is now well-established and investigates all allegations of this nature.

“The relationship between survivors and the police is now one of predominantly trust and positivity. We are working together to train detectives for the future, shaping the way in which services are delivered. This is good for the organisation, officers, victims and survivors.

"We are proud to be strongly represented on the Survivor Support Group. We will continue to support survivors by lobbying, alongside those partners who share our commitment, for better care for survivors. We need to ensure that they are properly supported once they have made the brave first step of coming forward to report the abuse to which they have been subjected.

“I believe that we have demonstrated our commitment to protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation now and in the future, as an organisation and as an integral member of the wider public service partnership.

"The approach taken by our officers throughout this inquiry demonstrates how seriously we have and will continue to take this important area of our work.