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RGP officers receive specialist training in dealing with child abuse

Royal Gibraltar Police officers are building on their knowledge and skills in tackling some of society’s most abhorrent crimes – child sexual abuse and exploitation – with two days of professional training led by a team from the UK’s Hydrant Programme.

The Hydrant Programme, part of the National Police Chiefs Council, was set up to provide coordination across policing in respect of child abuse and exploitation.

It was established after a surge of reporting of non-recent sexual abuse following the death of Jimmy Savile and revelations of his offending.

Its remit was expanded in July 2022 to include the full spectrum of child abuse and online offences.

The Hydrant Programme also acts as a centre of knowledge and expertise, in respect of investigations of child abuse and exploitation.

These can be some of the most complex investigations undertaken by policing and Hydrant ensures that learning and good practice from investigations which have gone before is captured to inform future investigations, ensuring that the policing approach continues to evolve and improve.

Part of this role includes visiting police forces to share knowledge, practice and resources.

The visiting team comprises the Deputy Director of the Hydrant Programme, Detective Superintendent Pete Hornby; Learning Peer Review and Peer Support Manager, Rob McKinnell, and Head of Communications, Jacqui Hanson.

Between them, the three members of the team bring over 100 years of policing experience.

Around 30 RGP officers will undertake this training.

Detective Superintendent Pete Hornby said: “We were delighted that the RGP invited us to share our knowledge in this way.”

“Child sexual abuse and exploitation investigations are some of the most complex undertaken by policing, and it is hugely satisfying to see the force’s commitment to staying abreast of all the latest learning and practice, ensuring that each and every victim has the best possible service, and that investigations have the opportunity to benefit and be benchmarked against national guidance and policy.”

The RGP’s Detective Superintendent John Field said: “This training course is part of our wider commitment to Continuing Professional Training for our officers.”

“We are grateful to the Hydrant Team for coming out to Gibraltar to update our officers in this highly complex area of policing – especially in such a tight-knit community as ours.”

“The team are also providing us with reviews of live investigations to benchmark against current policy and practice and to help inform the decision-making of our senior officers.”

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