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Stakeholder update Dec 2022

Welcome to the final Hydrant Programme update of 2022.  

There is much to reflect on as the year ends, and there is also a great deal to look forward to as we anticipate 2023! 

For anyone who works across the vulnerability sector, 2022 will be remembered as the year the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published its final report. From a policing perspective there is a huge amount of work being progressed to ensure the recommendations made have a lasting impact. As we wait for Government to formally respond to the report, the Hydrant Programme is making plans for a number of significant long-term projects which will launch in the New Year. We will, of course bring you details as soon as we can.  

You will see below an update from our National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Child Protection lead, DCC Ian Critchley. We will be sorry to see such a passionate advocate for victims and survivors say goodbye to policing but feel confident that whoever steps up to take over the reins will do so with the same dedication and energy. We will, of course, let you know when an appointment is made.  

Whatever the next few weeks hold for you and your loved ones, I hope there will be an opportunity for rest and relaxation Thank you for the support, guidance, challenge and insight you always provide to the Hydrant Programme, we are all looking forward to what 2023 will bring.  

 Richard Fewkes - Director, Hydrant Programme

Retirement of NPCC Child Protection lead announced

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley has announced his plan to retire on 31 March 2023. In an update to stakeholders and partners Mr Critchley said: “I would like to thank you all for the advice, support, scrutiny and guidance that you have given to me in my NPCC CPAI role, to accelerate together our commitment of improved policing services.  

I recognised the huge undertaking in taking on the role and building on the outstanding legacy left by my predecessor Simon Bailey who has continued to provide me with great support. I have also been supported and continue to be by Cath Cox, the most fantastic Staff Officer.  

There is clearly much to continue to do in our collective ambition of preventing child abuse in any form, giving confidence to victims to come forward and bring all offenders to justice.  I would like to thank you for your outstanding support and friendship since I came to Merseyside, in the time I have been DCC and in my national role. I look forward to continuing to work with you over coming months as decisions are made regarding next steps of which I will of course keep you updated.” 

The recruitment process for a new Child Protection lead is currently in progress and we’ll bring you an update in the New Year.  

Group based CSE update

DCC Mabs Hussain has led the NPCC Group Based CSE Working Group since March 2021, supported by Detective Superintendent Phil Key as his staff officer, we thank them both for their leadership of the group during this period.  

As a consequence of the priority the Home Office have asked the Hydrant Programme to place on this area of criminality, and the fact that the programme has responsibility nationally for coordinating policing’s response to the IICSA recommendations, the NPCC have agreed that moving forward this important area of work will be delivered by the Hydrant Programme.  

Hydrant’s Director, Richard Fewkes, will contact you in the new year to set out how partners and stakeholders will be able to contribute to this important area of work as it progresses.  

Domestic Homicides and Suspected Victim Suicides 2021-2022 is the second annual report from the national Domestic Homicide Project which works across England and Wales.

The Domestic Homicide Project is a Home Office funded research project led by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and delivered by our sister Programme, the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP) in collaboration with the College of Policing.  

Academics, including staff from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) seconded to the VKPP, have led the research in partnership with police. The report focusses on how policing can improve its response to domestic abuse and domestic homicide and presents ground-breaking new work on victim suicide after domestic abuse. 

Read the report

Voice of the Child

The VKPP Research and Review team have also published a new practice briefing on Voice of the Child.

It outlines the responsibilities that police have when engaging with children and young people. It includes several strategies and tools to help build personnel confidence, supporting police to engage with children in the most appropriate way and to hear their voice and experience.

Voice of the Child briefing

The Briefing covers: 

  • Key messages
  • The Current Picture 
  • How can we define the Voice of the Child? 
  • Why is Voice of the Child Important? 
  • Consideration for Voice of the Child 

Hydrant programme goes digital

We’ve already hinted that 2023 is going to be a big year for the Hydrant Programme and here’s one of the reasons why. Work is currently ongoing to develop a website so that all of our teams can share their work in one place, enabling our partners and stakeholders to access a range of useful data and resources at the click of a button!  

Development work is in the early stages of planning, so now is the time to let us know what you’d like to see on the Hydrant website. Please do drop us a line with any thoughts and suggestions. It’s always great to hear from you.  

We’ll be looking for an exclusive group of user experience testers early next year, if you’d like to volunteer, please get it touch. 

News from across the sector

We’re calling on the Prime Minister to take action on child sexual abuse following final the IICSA report | NSPCC.

The NSPCC has brought together leaders from more than 30 agencies and organisations to call on the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to turn the findings and recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into a national mission to prevent child sexual abuse. Signatories include the NPCC lead for child protection, DCC Critchley. 

Letter to the PM

PIER joins forces with Internet Watch Foundation - ARU

  • New project aims to tackle growing issue of ‘self-generated’ sexual imagery of children 
  • The Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER) at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is partnering with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to prevent children falling victim to predatory groomers online 
  • PIER and IWF have started a 26-month project to “Improve prevention strategies for ‘self-generated’ child sexual abuse material”

Risky online behaviour ‘almost normalised’ among young people, says study | Internet | The Guardian  

  • Risky and criminal online behaviour is in danger of becoming normalised among a generation of young people across Europe, according to EU-funded research that found one in four 16- to 19-year-olds have trolled someone online and one in three have engaged in digital piracy. 
  • A survey of 8,000 young people found that one in four have tracked or trolled someone online, one in eight have engaged in online harassment, one in 10 have engaged in hate speech or hacking, one in five have engaged in sexting and one in three have engaged in digital piracy. It also found that four out of 10 have watched pornography. 
  • According to the survey findings, just under half of participants engaged in behaviour that could be considered criminal in most jurisdictions, such as hacking, non-consensual sharing of intimate images or “money muling” – where someone receives money from a third party and passes it on, in a practice linked to the proceeds of cybercrime. 

Apple scraps plans to scan iPhones for child abuse images | Metro News 

  • Apple has scrapped its plan to scan iCloud images for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). 
  • The company announced that it would not be moving forward with its plans for on-device scanning. 
  • ‘We have further decided to not move forward with our previously proposed CSAM detection tool for iCloud Photos,’ said Apple in a statement. Children can be protected without companies combing through personal data, and we will continue working with governments, child advocates, and other companies to help protect young people, preserve their right to privacy, and make the internet a safer place for children and for us all.’ 

Top award for Head of Communications

Jacqui Hanson receiving her lifetime achievement award

Last month, our head of communications, Jacqui Hanson, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in recognition of: 

A lifetime of dedication and achievement to police communications. Jacqui is awarded for being an inspiration to generations of communications professionals, an incredible advocate for policing, a mentor, trainer, and a pivotal long-standing committee member for the Association of Police Communicators. 

The award was presented by Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, the newly appointed Chair of the NPCC. 

Anyone who has benefited from Jacqui’s extraordinary skills, knowledge and expertise will surely agree that this award is well deserved. Everyone at the Hydrant Programme is full of pride. Congratulations Jacqui!  

Environmental scanning

Following the transition from Operation Hydrant to the Hydrant Programme, and the widening of the work being covered, we decided to retire Look Forward and Back, our weekly environmental scanning product. In its place has risen the Daily News Summary, which, just as the name suggests is a snapshot of headlines and media coverage relevant to the Hydrant Programme. If you would like to receive the Daily News Summary, please email [email protected] and we’ll make sure your contact details are added to the mailing list.

Keep in touch

Have you updated your address book? Our contact details have changed! We have new contact email addresses! (The old ones still work too ?) we’ll always get back to you as soon as we can.  

General Hydrant Enquiries – [email protected]