Investigating child abuse

Northumbria Police ensures all child abuse allegations are investigated thoroughly but sensitively, always putting the needs of the children at risk first. Specialist teams trained in responding to these offences are in all area commands.    

All allegations of abuse made by the public or other agencies, such as health or children’s services, are brought to the attention of the area command Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU). If police officers attending an incident develop concerns about the welfare of any children, they will alert the CAIU.

A CAIU is in every area command of Northumbria Police. Each unit is supervised by a detective sergeant who, along with a team of specially trained detective constables, investigates all cases of abuse against children within family relationships, involving professionals or carers and organised abuse.

The teams work closely with local authority children’s services to safeguard children. In all cases of suspected child abuse, a consultation will take place.

The focus of police activity is to investigate criminal offences, while children’s services deal with the pastoral needs of children and their families.

If you have a non-urgent concern for a child and wish to make a report to the police  telephone 101.

Locations of Child Abuse Investigation Units

  • Sunderland - Farringdon Police Station
  • South Tyneside - South Shields Police Station
  • Gateshead - Whickham Police Station
  • North Tyneside - North Shields (Unicorn House)
  • Newcastle - Etal Lane Police Station
  • Northumberland - Bedlington Police Station