After the announcement that Telford had the highest rate of child sex crimes from September 2014 to September 2015, Telford MP, Lucy Allan wrote to Karen Bradley MP, the Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime, asking what is being done to reduce Child Sexual Exploitation in Telford. Lucy has now received a response which is detailed below.
Lucy asked: “To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the number of sexual offences committed against children in Telford.”
To which the Minister replied: “Tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a top priority for this Government and we are taking a wide range of actions to reduce sexual offences against children. We have prioritised child sexual abuse as a national threat in the Strategic Policing Requirement, setting a clear expectation on police forces to collaborate across force boundaries, to safeguard children, to share intelligence and to share best practice.
“We have introduced new powers for the police to tackle offenders including new Sexual Risk Orders in the Serious Crime Act. The College of Policing and the National Policing Lead have set the requirement for all forces to train all new and existing police staff to respond to child sexual abuse. We have also made £1.5 million available to the National Policing Lead to fund National CSE Action Plan regional co-ordinators and analysts to drive improvements in the police response and better identify organised abuse.
“Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary published a report on its National Child Protection re-inspection of West Mercia Constabulary on 21 January this year. Although HMIC highlighted some areas that needed improvement, inspectors found that West Mercia Police had reviewed its public protection structures, systems and processes and had invested significant extra resources into child protection.”
Commenting, Lucy said: “I am pleased that the Government is taking this issue seriously and giving the Police the powers they need. Protecting people from harm, and children in particular, should be one of the State’s primary concerns. Children and young people should be able to grow up in a safe environment and enjoy their childhood free from fear or abuse.”