The Star – Police vow to tackle child exploitation

Police vow to tackle child exploitation

Police chiefs awarded £500,000 a year to crackdown on the sexual exploitation of children hope to have 11 new positions filled by the summer.

The recruitment drive for 10 specialist police officers and an analyst who will identify where trends are emerging is still under way.

Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, made the extra cash available to South Yorkshire Police after the force was criticised for failing to ‘get a grip’ on child sexual abuse.

The criticism came from the Home Affairs Select Committee last year for a lack of prosecutions for child sexual exploitation by the force. Read on…..

6 thoughts on “The Star – Police vow to tackle child exploitation

  1. I wonder if the police have upgraded their video recording facilities so that vulnerable witnesses can actually be heard? I also wonder if the staff responsible for interviewing them have been given some training in how to do this more effectively.

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  2. Reading the Star article, I wonder if Our Upstanding Police Commissioner Shaun Wright, the Same Ex Rotherham Labour Councillor and Cabinet Member in charge at the time of this child grooming, is going to come clean on what he and the Labour controlled council knew about this and going to make available all documentation requested to the Home Affairs Committee and the Police and the Tax payer who pays is £85,000 Salary?

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    • How right Caven. The fact that documentation has not been made available to the Home Affairs Committee by Shaun Wright and his former crew members just proves even further to me that an awful amount of information regarding these horrific crimes was withheld from the police, thwarting their investigation. It is impossible to achieve a successful prosecution if vital evidence is not made available by the people involved, such as the persons in charge of the social workers responsible for the protection of these vulnerable girls
      I had personal experience of this many years ago (about 40 years) with Sheffield Council’s Social Services Department.

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  3. From Chris Longley MBE

    TRYING TO PREVENT SYSTEMATIC CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE IN FUTURE

    For the future of actions in South Yorkshire against systematic child sexual exploitation this must be good news – of a kind. Whether it is enough additional cash remains to be seen.

    In particular it matters whether the £500,000 is a “one -off” single year cash injection or whether it is £500,000 a year for the forseeable future. There is a big difference because a multi-year funded programme is a real commitment to change, and that is a far better proposition than a single £500,000 that has a twelve month end date and gets a headline.

    WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO WHAT EX-COUNCILLOR WRIGHT KNEW AND DID ABOUT CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN ROTHERHAM WHILST HE WAS THE PAID CABINET MEMBER IN CHARGE

    But this announcement adds no answers to the questions about what Ex-Councillor Wright knew about the systematic child abuse, rape and trafficking that scars Rotherahm still, and which took place in the five years when he was the paid Cabinet Member on the Rotherham Safeguarding Chidrens Panel.

    These questions will not go away: “What did he know, when did he know it, what advice was he given, what decsions did he take and what actions did he instruct should be taken?”

    The public know none of the answers to these questions.

    I hope my Freedom of Information request to Rotherham MBC brings the answers into the public domain.

    Kind regards to all

    Chris Longley MBE

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  4. It is already the duty of the police to enforce the law. The law of rape and murder do not require specialists to advise existing officers how to do their job. These extravagant exercises in procrastination are wearisome diversionary tactics.

    The Chief Constable and Mr Wright need to gird their loins and arrest and prosecute those who break the law, period.

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  5. From Chris Longley MBE

    Dear Anonymous

    I am very grateful to you and all the other kind people who have offered support to me over these last months in my attempt to bring into the public domain what happened in Rotherham between 2005/6 and 2009/10 that allowed the systematic abuse rape and trafficking of children on such a vast scale. And I will always be grateful for that support.

    WHY THE DETAIL OF WHAT WENT WRONG IS IMPORTANT

    The public has a right to know what went wrong so that in the future there is a chance of avoiding the same errors. On a weekend when we have learned from the Children’s Commissioner that as many as 2400 children may be actively at risk of such systematic abuse across England as I write, the importance “what went wrong” becoming public was never so important.

    Much of what is known internally in Rotherham MBC should have been the basis for fundamental improvements in attitudes, procedures and facilities that should be provided to support and keep safe vulnerable Rotherham children. But we don’t know this is the case: we just have unsupported assertions (in terms) that “lessons have been learned”. But we do not as yet know the list of what lessons have been learned, or how all the things that so clearly did go wrong actually fit together.

    It isn’t clear, for instance, whether any of the children so appallingly abused were allowed to fall through the safety nets that should have caught them by chance or whether they were ignored as they fell. Without much more detail, it is impossible to tell.

    MAKING CHANGES TO STOP IT HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE

    About the only clear and unambiguous thing that can be said about these horrific cases of abuse is that the different statutory agencies – the Rotherham MBC child safeguarding measures, the South Yorkshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service – do not appear to have co-ordinated their activities or shared information in any meaningful way between themselves.

    It may also be the case, and probably is, that each individual reported act of abuse was treated as just that – an individual act of abuse – and nobody joined up the dots to see a systematic pattern. So at least these defects could be a starting point for how the future needs to be different.

    You will forgive me for saying this, but it would appear that “normal policing” did not work. Nor did “normal social care”, and nor did “normal CPS procedures”.

    So this is why I welcomed the new approach that has seen four joint child sexual exploitation teams now set up in each of the four South Yorkshire Districts, including one in Rotherham, to plug the “working together” gap. It is a start.

    I am given to understand these teams include not only the specially trained Police officers, but also the child sexual exploitation officers from the respective social services departments and the Crown Prosecution Service. These people will be in these four District teams with the specific remit to believe children and their carers, to join up the dots and to collect evidence that delineates the patterns of abuse as a basis for either deterrence or – preferably – for prosecution.

    On that basis I welcomed the announcement of the £500,000 a year in support of these team measures. In my assessment they are the first step on a programme towards dealing with child sexual exploitation, abuse, rape and trafficking.

    I also said that I hope it is £500,000 a year for many years consecutively, and not just a one year wonder that falls victim to next years’ budget cuts.

    Kind regards

    Chris

    Chris Longley MBE

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