In the Media

ACPO comment on the verdict of the Operation Bullfinch child sexual exploitation trial

PUBLISHED May 14, 2013

ACPO lead on child protection and child abuse investigation Peter Davies said:

"Firstly, I would like to thank the young women who have bravely come forward to report these crimes, given evidence in this trial and enabled the conviction of these dangerous sex offenders.

"Today's verdict sends a strong message to offenders: the police and prosecutors will work together to find you and bring you to justice. We hope it also sends a message to victims: we will listen to you, support you and do all we can bring about a prosecution. Our awareness and understanding of child sexual exploitation has increased huge amount in the recent years and we are investing resources to fund major investigations leading to outcomes like today's.

"All chief constables have committed to an action plan that aims to raise the standards in tackling child sexual exploitation in all forces so that the police service is providing a consistently strong approach and protecting vulnerable young people. As part of the plan, all forces have identified a lead in this area to act as a single point of contact and drive forward the action plan locally, and each force is proactively looking for potential victims and creating a problem profile for their area.

"ACPO is currently working jointly with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the College of Policing on a fundamental review of investigative guidance on child sex offences that will be released for public consultation in coming weeks. It aims to deliver truly practical guidance to police officers and prosecutors on improving victims' journeys through the criminal justice system.

"In addition, chief constables have agreed to the formation of national panels to review past allegations of child sex abuse. These panels will look at cases that have previously been investigated by the police or reviewed by the CPS and a decision to take no further action was made but the perpetrator may still pose a risk."