Safeguarding and public protection team recognised at formal award ceremony

Detective Superintendent Tracey Rankine has heaped praise on the Force’s Safeguarding and public protection team which has grown from 28 officers to almost 400 in 12 months.

The team has formally been recognised at an awards ceremony which took place on Thursday 29 February and celebrated the department's achievements.

The awards come after all safeguarding functions in South Wales Police Force were centralised, which means the team now tackles crime, safeguarding and policy across multiple strands of vulnerability, including domestic abuse, child protection, mental health, exploitation, offender management, stalking and harassment, missing people and rape and serious sexual offences.

“The rate at which we’ve seen this department evolve is phenomenal,” said Tracey, adding: “The strategic and operational expertise of every team member is hugely impressive.

“We have an extremely proactive and dynamic team of individuals. We felt it was time to recognise their success and celebrate their achievements.”


The award ceremony included 10 categories, each of which had three finalists and one overall winner. 

“The support members of the public get from the police and partners shouldn’t be determined by their postcode. We are striving to ensure a consistent level of safeguarding practice across the whole of South Wales,” added Tracey.

“As a department, we’re working closely with our colleagues in other teams across the Force, as well as internal and external stakeholders to ensure the service we provide is consistent.


Tracey Rankine at the award ceremony.


“It’s not been easy, but as a collective, the team have achieved an awful lot in a short period of time. You can see the changes happening that the team have been involved with, and it’s hugely rewarding and satisfying.”

One of their success stories has involved the development of a vulnerability app, which has been designed specifically for officers, supporting their approach to vulnerability investigations, with stalking and harassment cases being the first crime area to benefit.

South Wales Police are also one of five pathfinder forces across England and Wales for Operation Soteria, a national programme of work which has transformed their approach to investigating rape and serious sexual offences.

Missing people

The team have also completely transformed the Force’s approach to missing people, with an extensive review of their procedures, establishing a truancy policing and delivery of widescale training across all ranks. These changes mean that compliance around missing people has increased from 25 per cent, 12 months ago to almost 95 per cent, today.

Tracey continued: “Some of our process changes have since been adopted by our peers in other departments, and some have also been adopted by fellow Forces across England and Wales.”

Tracey said that with so much of the team’s work not directly on the frontline, it is not often that they formally get recognised for their achievements.

“Due to the type of work the team does, it means that they don’t naturally fall into the more traditional police award categories that are often celebrated,” ended Tracey.

“I'm pleased that we were able to shine a light on the fantastic work that has been achieved.”

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