ACPO lead on child protection and child abuse investigation, and chief exeuctive of CEOP, Peter Davies, said:
“I congratulate everyone involved in bringing this insidious and horrific criminality to justice and by so doing protecting its victims and preventing more harm.”
“Child sexual exploitation spans all cultures and ethnicities. While there are occasions when cultural issues do arise, we have to work across all boundaries to tackle child sexual exploitation. Each case will involve a particular set of circumstances and should be investigated on this basis. It is unhelpful for potential victims to have an oversimplified impression of where the threat comes from.
“A key concern is the vulnerability of young people who are targeted as victims of this horrific form of sexual abuse and ensuring that the police and local safeguarding agencies do all they can to protect young people from it. Several police forces have clearly been proactive in preventing child sexual exploitation and grooming and recent court successes are a result of lengthy investigations by dedicated officers and staff across the country.
“ACPO supports the Ministerial Action Plan on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), published by the Children’s Minister Tim Loughton MP last year; and is awaiting the findings of the England Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into CSE in Groups and Gangs. ACPO has a Child Protection Delivery Plan which incorporates steps to increase front line awareness of CSE and ensure that colleagues tackling this complex kind of investigation have the support they need.
“Successful early interventions to protect children depend on effective multi-agency working, both at a national and local level. ACPO continues to work with our strategic partners in this area such as the Home Office, Department for Education, Association of Directors of Children’s Services and the CPS, whilst forces have established working practices with children’s services, local authorities and LSCB’s within regions.”