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More can always be done to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation

October 20, 2012 7:16 PM
Barnardo's Cut them free campaign

Barnardo's Cut them free campaign

Liberal Democrat candidate for Hampshire and Isle of Wight's new Police and Crime Commissioner David Goodall backs Barnardo's Cut Them Free campaign.

In Hampshire and Isle of Wight the Constabulary's Public Protection Department is responsible for investigating incidents of child abuse, vulnerable adult abuse, safeguarding vulnerable people and working with other agencies to manage the supervision of offenders in our community using Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

There are three teams based in the West, East and North of the county. In addition, there is a Central Referral Unit based at Southern Support and Training Headquarters at Netley, near Southampton. A Detective Chief Inspector, as recommended by Barnardo's, leads each of these teams.

In addition, Hampshire Constabulary's teams have the following specialist groups within them, also as Barnardo's recommend:

  • The child abuse investigation team (CAIT) contains specially trained officers who work closely with other agencies such as social services to investigate allegations of child abuse.
  • The vulnerable adult investigation team (VAIT) work with partner agencies in the prevention, identification, investigation, risk management and detection of criminal offences against vulnerable adults.
  • Officers from the Public Protection Department receive specialist training on how to interview children, young people and vulnerable adults, balancing the gathering of evidence with a concern for their welfare during the interview process.
  • The safeguarding teams work to ensure the safety and protection of the most vulnerable people in our communities, working with partner agencies to target offenders and support victims.

Announcing his today support for UK children's charity Barnardo's Cut Them Free campaignLiberal Democrat candidate for Hampshire and Isle of Wight's new Police and Crime Commissioner David Goodall said:-

"Hampshire Constabulary already have a well trained team to support young victims and facilitate prosecutions, but there is always more that can done"

And he added:-

"The oversight and scrutiny of the police procedures in this area can only benefit by working closely with groups such as Barnardo's."

"That is why, if elected, I plan to set up advisory panels to the Police and Crime Commissioner's Office to advise if the procedures being followed are suitable and having the desired affect in practice."

"Barnardo's would of course be welcome to appoint a local representative to the Special Interest Advisory Panel and I am convinced that the specialist insight they have in this area can only benefit and improve the service offered in Hampshire and Isle of Wight""

Pledging to work with the Hampshire force to help make child sexual exploitation in Hampshire and Isle of Wight a thing of the past David Goodall said:

"I support Barnardo's campaign to cut children free from sexual exploitation and if elected I will take the necessary steps to tackle this abuse within my local Police and Crime Plan."

"There is no place in our community for this vile form of abuse. Police have an important role to play in exposing the callous criminals who target and manipulate children for sex.'

Barnardo's have developed an anti-child sexual exploitation checklist of seven 'achievable tasks' for police forces in England and Wales, highlighting key improvements that would help identify and support victims who have been abused, protect young people at risk and facilitate the prosecution of abusers. Barnardo's anti child sexual exploitation checklist is as follows:-

  • Appoint a senior officer to champion the issue
  • Appoint specialist officers to deal with individual cases
  • Make sure all frontline officers can spot the signs of exploitation
  • Flag child sexual exploitation as an indicator on the police database
  • Engage fully with the multi-agency Local Safeguarding Children Board
  • Link with the neighbouring police forces to address the issue together
  • Deal well with alleged or known victims

Welcoming David Goodall's support, Barnardo's South East Director, Michelle Lee Izu said:

"Children in Hampshire and Isle of Wight are being groomed, trapped and exploited for sex. This appalling abuse must stop. By making this commitment it is clear David Goodall appreciates the seriousness of the issue and understands that tackling this serious crime head-on will help make the Hampshire and Isle of Wight safer for all our children."

A fuller description Barnardo's campaign to cut children free can be found at:-

www.barnardos.org.uk/cutthemfree