APCC Victims Lead, Dame Vera Baird QC PCC said:
“This is good progress and very welcome. Many Police and Crime Commissioners have joined in the national forum to tackle CSE/A led by my deputy Marc Jones. The right way to tackle this appalling issue used to use all our resources to stop abuse and exploitation from happening from the start.
“The next issue is for the government to lead on the development of rehabilitative or curative programmes for abusers of children. ‘Circles of support’ seem to have been effective in practice and I hope the government, which seems to be reconsidering its decision not to fund them again, will agree that they should continue. Developing safe and effective programs for behaviour change is urgently needed and the Government would find Police and Crime Commissioners extremely supportive. We all expect appropriately long prison sentences but we have ultimately to ensure behaviour change.”
APCC Deputy Victims Lead, Marc Jones PCC said:
“In tackling the appalling crimes of child sexual abuse and the criminal exploitation of children, we need not only to focus on law enforcement but, crucially, on preventing children becoming victims in the future.
“Early intervention and prevention is fundamental to this and I welcome the Government’s announcement of successful bids to the £13m fund to support programmes to foster ‘trusted’ relationships between support workers and young people, which provides an opportunity to support those young people most vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in our communities.
“Police and Crime Commissioners have a key local role to play, not just in making sure that the right support is available to victims of these crimes, but in bringing partners together to ensure a joined up approach to supporting young people and helping to keep them safe.
“At a national level I am taking forward a joined up network of partners from government, law enforcement and voluntary sector bodies which will support and drive work to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation.”
To learn more about the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Network by watching our video here.
To learn more about the Trusted Relationships Fund click here.