Protecting vulnerable people in Nottinghamshire from exploitation

Nottinghamshire Police has been praised in a national report for its work to protect vulnerable people from exploitation during the pandemic.

By Shelley Marriott
Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 1:57 pm

The report, released today (Tuesday, April 20) by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that the force used the fall in demand in other crime types due to Covid-19 restrictions to redeploy officers into safeguarding teams in order to bolster its online paedophile investigation capabilities.

It also found Nottinghamshire Police introduced measures to further educate officers and staff on spotting vulnerability in victims and how best to act on those concerns.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Throughout the pandemic, I have been incredibly impressed with how Nottinghamshire Police officers and staff have responded with creativity and commitment to protecting the public.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford

“The way in which the public protection team adapted to ensure that the most vulnerable people in the city and county were kept safe is a prime example of how the force continued this commitment in the most challenging of circumstances.

“While other areas of the force saw a drop in the level of demand as a result of people staying indoors due to the pandemic, we knew that vulnerable people could still be targeted and that in some cases, reporting abuse could become more difficult as a result of the lockdowns.

“Our public protection team took the decrease in demand to redeploy staff to areas of that combat online paedophilia and other online crime types.”

The report also highlighted the use of a series of internal vlogs made by frontline officers and staff on spotting the signs of abuse and how best to act on concerns quickly and appropriately. These were made working with the corporate communications department.

This along with the virtual refresher training sessions Mr Guildford added were vital in the protection of children and vulnerable people and meant that officers could act on issues before they escalate.

He said:

“These examples are just a part of how well we have policed the pandemic as a whole and I am pleased with the wider report that was released by HMICFRS today.

“We have all had to adapt and I am really proud of how we have responded.”