Oxfordshire’s Kingfisher team wins prestigious national award

The Kingfisher team, which is based at Cowley Police Station, is made up of around 20 members of staff from the police, council and health sector who work side by side, sharing information, working closely with potential victims, investigating and detecting crime and disrupting the activities of perpetrators. It was set up in November 2012.

The team has won the children’s services award at the national MJ awards – the MJ is the trade magazine for local government.

In asking for submissions from around the country, judges asked for evidence of “an innovative and committed team” who have “successfully linked with different services and partners in innovative and constructive ways and created forward thinking services for children, young people and families.”

Social workers, detectives and health professionals working side by side

Councillor Melinda Tilley, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families, said: “The Kingfisher team involves staff from Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council’s social care teams working closely together with social workers often adopting the skills of detectives and detectives using the skills of social workers. Professionals from other agencies including health also have an important presence.

“By working side by side in this way, Oxfordshire is well placed to combat and disrupt those who abuse and sexually exploit young people. Although there are a small number of other similar teams operating in the country, there are many other councils and police forces who do not yet operate in this way and have been keen to speak to our experts in the Kingfisher team to learn how it works. The Kingfisher team has become seen as a national example of good practice.

“Staff in the Kingfisher team often operate in difficult and emotional environments. They are dedicated professionals with a determination to protect young people. This award is due recognition for their efforts. Their work will continue throughout Oxfordshire.”

D/Insp Laura Macinnes from Thames Valley Police said: “Thames valley Police is very pleased that the Kingfisher team has been recognised in winning this award.

“The strength of this team is in the co-location and the ability to share information with partners really quickly to achieve the best results for children.”