In cases where the threshold for significant harm is not reached, and therefore a referral to social care is not considered appropriate, but information suggests that a police investigation may be needed, the LADO should discuss with the police, the employer and any other agencies involved with the child to evaluate the allegation and how it should be dealt with. N.B. The police must be consulted about any case where a criminal offence may have been committed.
The initial evaluation between the police, the LADO and any other relevant party, such as the employer, may not need to be a face-to face meeting. However, it should:
- share available information about the allegation, the child and the accused person,
- consider whether a police investigation is needed, and, if so
- agree the timing and conduct of the investigation,
- consider whether there are matters that can be taken forward in a parallel disciplinary process, or whether the disciplinary action needs to wait until the police enquiry and/or prosecution is completed,
- agree what information can be shared, with whom and when.
If a criminal investigation is required, the police should:
- aim to complete their enquiries as soon as possible,
- keep the progress of the case under review,
- set a target date, at the outset, for reviewing progress and consulting with the CPS about whether to charge the accused person or close the case,
- if they or the CPS decide not to charge the accused person, to administer a caution or if the person is acquitted by a court, pass all information relevant to a disciplinary case to the employer without delay,
- inform the employer immediately if the person is convicted of an offence,
- liaise with the LADO.
Progress on the police investigation and any decision by the Criminal Prosecution Service must be reviewed no later than 4 weeks from the start and if the decision is to continue to investigate the allegation, every 2-4 weeks afterwards.
Following the conclusion of a police investigation the designated senior manager or employer, in consultation with the LADO, will need to consider what further action, if any, should be taken in relation to the member of staff concerned.