03/03/2015

PM To Announce New Measures On Child Sexual Expolitation

The Prime Minister is expected to announce new measures to tackle child sexual exploitation at a Downing Street summit later today, Tuesday.

David Cameron will announce new criminal sanctions for those who fail to protect children from sexual exploitation.

The government will consult on extending the new criminal offence of 'wilful neglect' of patients to children's social care, education and elected members, as part of its national response to damning reports by Alexis Jay, Ann Coffey, Louise Casey and others, which found systematic institutional failings and cultures of denial and blame in Rotherham, and elsewhere.

The Prime Minister will meet leaders from local authorities, children's services, health professionals, chief constables and experts in child protectionwhere he will demand local areas work more effectively to strengthen the systems in place to protect children.

The new package will ensure local areas have long term practical plans to uncover child sexual exploitation (CSE) and bring more offenders to justice, or face tough consequences.

Child sexual abuse will now be prioritised as a national threat, like serious and organised crime which means police forces now have a duty to collaborate with each other across force boundaries to safeguard children including more efficient sharing of resources, intelligence and best practice, supported by specialist regional CSE police coordinators.

Mr Cameron is expected to say: "We have all been appalled at the abuse suffered by so many young girls in Rotherham and elsewhere across the country.

"Children were ignored, sometimes even blamed, and issues were swept under the carpet – often because of a warped and misguided sense of political correctness. That culture of denial which let them down so badly must be eradicated.

"Today, I am sending an unequivocal message that professionals who fail to protect children will be held properly accountable and council bosses who preside over such catastrophic failure will not see rewards for that failure.

"Offenders must no longer be able to use the system to hide their despicable activities and survivors of child sexual abuse must be given the long-term therapeutic treatment they need to re-build their lives.

"But it is not just about introducing new policies. It is about making sure that the professionals we charge with protecting our children – the council staff, police officer and social workers – do the jobs they are paid to do."

(CD/JP)

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