Lucy Allan MP has welcomed the Prime Minister’s renewed focus on tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and grooming gangs. The Prime Minister will today announce a new set of measures to protect women and girls from sexual abuse across the country with an overhaul of the policing and institutional response to grooming gangs.
At the heart of the new strategy, the Prime Minister has taken the decisive step to include ethnicity data to support Police Investigations. For too long local authorities like Telford & Wrekin Council and Rotherham Council have failed to properly engage with the issues surrounding CSE for fear of appearing prejudiced. In some cases, this has resulted in local authorities and police forces failing to engage properly with the issue and put victims first.
Better understanding the characteristics of offenders is crucial to dismantling a culture of impunity amongst members of grooming gangs, who have for too long been able to abuse vulnerable women and girls while the authorities had failed to proactively tackle the underlying issues driving this horrific crime.
The Prime Minister's new approach has several key aspects:
- Launching a police-led Grooming Gangs Taskforce of specialist police and National Crime Agency experts to disrupt grooming gangs and bring perpetrators to justice.
- Introducing mandatory reporting for professionals in safeguarding roles, such as teachers and social workers, so they are legally obliged to report concerns about child grooming.
- Members of grooming gangs will now be subjected to the toughest sentencing possible, with new legislation being put forward that makes being a member an aggravating factor when considering their sentencing.
- Monitoring the ethnicity of grooming gang suspects, because political correctness should never get in the way of keeping girls safe.
- Relaunching a national hotline for whistleblowers and victims, so people have confidence there is a direct avenue to report grooming gangs and their concerns will be properly followed up on.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has a strong record of action against CSE and has always taken the issue seriously. As a previous Minister for Local Government, he had been hugely supportive of Lucy’s campaigning for victims’ rights and was instrumental in arguing for an Inquiry into CSE in Telford at the highest level of Government when Telford & Wrekin Council opposed it.
Lucy Allan MP said:
“I am encouraged by just how seriously the Prime Minister takes the issue of CSE. He has a consistent record of support for victims during his time in Parliament and has been receptive and constructive in response to my campaigning on this subject, which blighted the lives of so many in Telford and across the country. He recognised the scale of the problem as a Minister many years ago and has been an outspoken supporter of the Inquiry in Telford before even our own local authority.
This decisive new approach to tackling CSE announced today is what I have been campaigning for over many years and will give victims the confidence that the state will fully support them and crack down on offenders with the full force of the law.”