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Child holding teddy
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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

  • Headshot 1

    8th Jul 2024

    Hydrant Programme welcomes new National Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

    On Monday 1 July, Assistant Chief Constable Becky Riggs became the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation, taking over from Ian Critchley QPM who has a new role with the College of Policing.

  • CSARP Social 1

    23rd May 2024

    How the CSARP supported J

    J is a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse. She says: "The abuse I endured doesn’t define me but it’s part of my story, and I hope that sharing it will be helpful for other survivors and those who support them."

  • 240520 james cleverly essex police college visit 1 002

    21st May 2024

    Home Secretary marks 12 months of CSE Taskforce

    A year since the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Taskforce was launched by the Prime Minister, yesterday (Monday 20 May), Home Secretary, James Cleverley MP marked the occasion by hearing firsthand how policing is working at a local and national level to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation and prevent harm.