Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 47 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 2.62 Anyone who has a child protection concern about a child or young person should share information according to local multi-agency child protection processes. All agencies and organisations working with children and young people are expected to have child protection procedures in line with local multi-agency protocols, based upon the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland. The Scottish Council for Independent Schools (SCIS) provides the sector with support and professional learning on child protection. SCIS works closely with the Boarding Schools Association (BSA), which upholds a Commitment to Care Charter (2017) encompassing child protection. BSA provides safeguarding training, advice and resources for more than 500 residential/boarding schools in the UK, including more than 20 in Scotland. Police Service of Scotland (‘Police Scotland’) 2.63 The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 p laces a statutory duty on police officers to, amongst other things, detect and prevent crime. Therefore child protection is a fundamental part of the duties of all police officers. 2.64 The local delivery of public protection arrangements remains the responsibility of local police commanders. Community policing teams contribute to prevention and personal safety programmes for children and young people. Every local policing division across Scotland has a dedicated Public Protection Unit staffed by specialist officers, with investigation teams and a Divisional Concern Hub. The Divisional Concern Hub functionality includes responsibility of triage, research, assessment and consideration, if appropriate, of information sharing of all identified concerns. 2.65 Police Scotland records information about individuals who are, or are perceived to be, experiencing some form of adversity and/or situational vulnerability which may impact on their current or future wellbeing. Police Scotland also records reports and action taken where an immediate crisis response has been required. This might include adult or child protection, domestic abuse, hate crime or youth offending. Details of victim’s rights under section 8 (and 9 when commenced) of th e Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 would be noted. Information is recorded, assessed and shared, where appropriate, with relevant statutory agencies and/or Third Sector/advocacy organisations. 2.66 Introduction and development of Divisional Concern Hubs has further strengthened Police Scotland’s ability to apply clear assessment, rationale and audit information sharing pathways. 2.67 The identification of concerns at an early stage better enables Police Scotland and partners to promote, support and safeguard the wellbeing of individuals and communities, which helps keep people safe. It provides an opportunity to provide support at an earlier stage, where appropriate to do so, and to take preventative action to stop low-level concerns developing into crisis situations. 2.68 Where it is considered necessary to remove a child from harm or risk of harm, consideration may be given by the police to invoke statutory powers under the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011, such as to apply for a child protection order (CPO) or to remove a child to a place of safety. 2.69 Where the conditions for applying for a CPO are met, but it is not practicable to apply to a sheriff for such an order, a constable may remove a child to a place of safety under section 56 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011. Before invoking their emergency powers, officers should carefully consider the justification for their actions, and whether the provisions of the legislation are met.