Amber Rudd plans licence to practise for police probing child sex abuse

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Police investigating child sex abuse should have a licence to practise similar to the system for firearms officers, the Home Secretary has said.

Amber Rudd, making her first address to the College of Policing conference, said the plans would ensure consistent standards.

The conference theme this year is vulnerability, which Ms Rudd described as one of the "most pressing issues" facing police forces.

Her comments came as police and the Football Association probe sex abuse in youth football, which Ms Rudd said showed the issue was "not going away".

The College of Policing will be given £1.9 million to fund a licence to practise pilot scheme.

Ms Rudd said: "It is important that only those who are absolutely qualified to perform critical roles dealing with the vulnerable are deployed to those situations.

"And that is why the Home Office and the College of Policing have been working closely together to develop a licence to practise.

"It will ensure that the public receive an assurance of competence and a delivery of consistent standards. It will also mean that police officers are not forced to take on roles that they are not prepared for or professionally trained to do.

"If your child was sick you wouldn't expect them to see a doctor with no experience in children's medicine, and it's right to apply the same logic here."