Is the Met’s approach to safeguarding London’s children working?

12 March 2014

This meeting took place on 13 March 2014. Read the transcript here.

What are the key priorities in safeguarding children in London? How does the Met approach this work and ensure it works effectively with other agencies to protect children in the capital?

The London Assembly will tomorrow continue its review of the Metropolitan Police’s approach to safeguarding children in the capital.

In 2012/13 the Met’s Child Abuse Investigation Teams investigated more than 9,000 offences against children including rape, sexual assault, assault and neglect. Investigations into rape offences have risen by 27% over the last 4 years, while investigations into sexual assault have increased by 57% in the same period, 2008/09 to 2012/13.

Following a number of high profile cases and reviews [1] revealing systemic failings across a range of public sector services, the Met established the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command (SOECA) in June 2013 to investigate all situations of ill treatment of children, including physical and emotional abuse, infanticide and child homicide.

The review will look at what improvements in safeguarding have been made following the establishment of SOECA and how the recommendations of the Laming and Munro reviews have been implemented.

The Police and Crime Committee’s Safeguarding Working Group will question the following guests:

  • Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Service;
  • Cheryl Coppell, Chair of London Safeguarding Children Board and Chief Executive, London Borough of Havering;
  • Yvette Stanley, Director of Children, Schools and Families, London Borough of Merton; and
  • Helen Bailey, Chief Operating Officer, MOPAC

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 13 March from 10am in The Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Notes to editors

  1. Lord Laming (2009) The Protection of Children in England: A progress Report and Department of Education (2011) The Munro Review of Child Protection .
  2. Full agenda papers.
  3. The Police and Crime Committee is responsible for examining the activities of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and investigating matters it considers to be of importance to policing and crime reduction in London.
  4. The Police and Crime Committee is established under s32 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.
  5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.