Police adopt new child safeguarding scheme

From Devon & Cornwall Police:

Operation Encompass is helping the force and schools focus on supporting children who are suffering harm in domestic abuse incidents.

Devon and Cornwall Police are working with the Trustees of the Operation Encompass charity and our partners to ensure that schools across Devon and Cornwall are informed promptly of incidents where children have been impacted by domestic abuse.

Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools, before 9am on a school day, when police have attended an incident where a child or young person has been present during or exposed to an environment where there is domestic abuse.

Information is passed by the police to a trained ‘Key Adult’ within the appropriate school so that silent or overt care can be provided to support the child.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, who also delivered a passionate speech at the Encompass launch event said: “Operation Encompass is an important initiative and directly supports our force mission which is to protect the vulnerable.

“This scheme is now running forcewide meaning that some of the most vulnerable children in society are now receiving the extra help and support from police officers and the school they attend, far earlier than ever before. These are children who may have previously suffered in silence at school after being exposed to domestic abuse in their home.

“Representatives from over 900 schools from across Devon and Cornwall have attended the key adult training, all delivered by David and Elisabeth Carney-Haworth whom I thank personally for their time and commitment in delivering this initiative.”

Today (Wednesday 10 January), Devon and Cornwall Police and the charity held a launch event at Pentillie Castle in St Mellion to celebrate the roll-out of Op Encompass across the force.

The event was co-hosted by the Chief Constable, the High Sheriff of Cornwall Sarah Coryton, recently appointed as a Patron of Operation Encompass, and the High Sheriff of Devon Heleen Lindsay-Fynn.

In attendance was Dame Vera Baird a Patron of the Charity and Anneka Rice, an advocate who gave a speech as part of the day. Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall also attended.

Ms Hernandez, said: “Better connections between the police and the communities they serve is at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan. Operation Encompass allows the police and schools to better connect for the sake of our children. I’m so grateful for the efforts everyone has put in to create a safer environment where children who have suffered trauma will be further supported and helped to cope”

Retired Sergeant David Carney-Haworth, co-creator and founder of Operation Encompass, said: “As the creators of Operation Encompass it is rewarding to see our scheme across the whole of Devon and Cornwall Police Force. Today is a wonderful way to mark and recognise this achievement which has come from a commitment straight from the Chief Constable.

“We can now add Devon and Cornwall to the list of forces supporting Operation Encompass, meaning that parents can rest assured that the child victims of domestic abuse will be recognised and supported in school.

“This scheme is supported by both Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and Ofsted, and we will continue to lobby to ensure that all forces across the country embrace this scheme.

“Our hard work in briefing key adults across Cornwall, Devon, Torbay and Plymouth is a small price to pay to ensure that the children and young people exposed to Domestic Abuse are given the nurture and support that they need, when they need it most: It’s every child’s right.”


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