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Two police officers in the street
Child holding teddy
Police line tape in front of a crime scene
Hooded child on bench
Man in handcuffs

Supporting child protection
and abuse investigation

About the
Hydrant Programme

The Hydrant Programme is a national policing programme supporting the work of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Child Protection and Abuse Investigation Working Group. Originally established in 2014 to coordinate the response to non-recent child sexual abuse, but now supporting forces across all child protection and abuse investigation issues.

Hydrant develops policy and strategy on behalf of the NPCC, develops and delivers best practice advice including a learning, review and improvement function, provides a strategic analysis capability and partnership engagement with key stakeholders and partners.

About us

The protection of all children from exploitation is crucial. We know that some of our most vulnerable young people experience harm which has lifelong consequences and policing is committed to keeping our children safe, and protecting them from abuse in all its forms.
Ian Critchley- National Police Chiefs' Lead, Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

What we offer


A Peer Review, Peer Support, CPD and Debrief function working across all elements of child abuse and child protection, which forces can access at no cost.

partnership hub

A Partnership Hub which supports key stakeholders and organisations with operational child protection and safeguarding issues.

research team

An Analysis and Research Team who work in collaboration with the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme and the National Crime Agency to enhance understanding of the prevalence of child sexual abuse and exploitation and the risk and harm it presents. The aim of this is to address identified gaps in policing’s national capability highlighted by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and others.


A Communications Team with the ability to coordinate issues of national operational criticality within the vulnerability portfolio when this is appropriate, for example policing’s response to incidents like the Everyone’s Invited movement and the football abuse scandal.

News & events