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Police officers suspected of child abuse

Authorised Professional Practice

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This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

First published
Written by College of Policing
Police response to investigating child abuse
3 mins read

The child abuse investigation unit should provide advice to police force professional standards departments when an internal investigation relates to allegations of:

  • child abuse by a police officer; and
  • domestic abuse which may involve children


A communications system should exist whereby:

  • police officers notify their force of any domestic or child abuse-related civil injunctions and/or orders made under the Children Act 1989 which deny contact or only permit contact under supervision, or
  • Prohibited Steps Order and any breaches of such orders

Local authority designated officers

These officers work in children’s services departments in county or unitary local authorities. They manage and oversee cases of possible child abuse committed by a person who works with children.

They also:

  • coordinate information sharing
  • provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations
  • liaise with the police service

For further information see HM Government (2015) Working Together to Safeguard Children, chapter 2.

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