In the Media

Office of the Children's Commissioner's report into child sexual exploitation

PUBLISHED November 26, 2013

National Policing Lead for Violence and Public Protection Chief Constable Dave Whatton said:

"The reports published by the Children's Commissioner today bring together a comprehensive review of child sexual exploitation. The reports make very difficult reading as they raise serious concerns about the safety of children and young people in our communities. The review identifies pockets of effective practice around the country, including good examples from the police service in tackling such crimes.

"But, as this inquiry found, no single agency can respond alone or on a case-by-case basis to child sexual exploitation by gangs or groups. A coherent local and national response to child sexual exploitation needs to cover the entire range of agencies and services that are involved in the protection and safety of children and young people.

"The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the College of Policing have agreed a National Action Plan to ensure a consistent policing response to child sexual exploitation and we will continue to work with partners nationally and encourage forces to establish good working practices locally. The inquiry notes the leadership shown by ACPO in developing this plan and all chief constables through Chief Constables Council have committed to delivering it in their forces

"Part of the plan includes the roll out of new policing guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), developed by the College, which will be available to all frontline practioners next month. The guidance covers warning signs of sexual exploitation, where abuse may be taking place including online, dealing with vulnerable victims appropriately and using existing powers and tactics to investigate and bring to justice perpetrators of CSE. It was developed in conjunction with new CPS guidance on the prosecution of child sexual abuse and brings together a more joined up criminal justice approach to responding to CSE."