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8 April, 2022

Commissioner welcomes Chief Constable’s commitment to child protection in North Yorkshire at Public Accountability Meeting

North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe this morning held a special Public Accountability Meeting focused on North Yorkshire Police’s response to the National Child Protection Inspection which found serious issues needed to be addressed.

The broadcast, accessible to everyone online live and available to rewatch at anytime on the Commissioner’s website, saw North Yorkshire Chief Constable Lisa Winward and her team questioned about the findings and, most importantly, the steps being taken to improve child protection.

Commissioner Zoë said:

“I am grateful to North Yorkshire Police for engaging fully and frankly in this open and transparent process as I ensure they are taking action on this hugely important issue.

“It is my job, on behalf of the people of North Yorkshire and the City of York to hold North Yorkshire Police to account and ensure that they are providing the right level of service to everyone, especially those who are victims of crime or most vulnerable.

“I will continue to monitor and track progress and will be holding another Public Accountability Meeting to review again, in three months.

“It was reassuring to hear from the Chief Constable that significant steps have already been taken following the inspection, and I will continue to ensure I use my role to hold the force to account and ensure more improvements are made.

“I have asked my Youth Commission to extend their role and be the voice for young people and take part in the police’s gold and silver meetings making improvements to keep children and young people safe.

“I would also welcome feedback from children and young people, plus families, communities and partners who have had experience of child protection services in North Yorkshire to ensure their views are incorporated into what happens in the future.

“It is important to say that support is always available, and anyone concerned should be confident they will receive the help they need – whether an offence has been reported to the police or not. Supporting Victims is available for advice and help on 01609 643 100 or at www.supportingvictims.org.

“By being open and transparent, giving members of the public the opportunity to ask questions and get responses, and having that available for everyone to see and engage with, I am confident we can work together to address the challenges and ensure all children across North Yorkshire and York are able to grow up in a safe environment, cared for and protected from harm.”