New committee will focus on child sexual exploitation

  |  Published: Apr 12th 2015
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The fight against child sexual exploitation (CSE) by the police and other statutory agencies across the area will be monitored by a special working group created by the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel.

The panel, which exists to scrutinise the work of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, agreed on Friday to set up a sub-committee to focus specifically on CSE.

It will meet about four times a year in public and will have five or six members.

Panel Chairman Trevor Egleton said the group’s job will be to keep child sexual exploitation firmly on the agenda and give the issue a public profile.

The decision to create the sub-committee came after panel members discussed child exploitation at length, after hearing Thames Valley Police’s response to a recent Serious Case Review into CSE in Oxfordshire.

The panel was given a presentation by Michelle Kukielka, Assistant Director Children's Service, Barnardo's South.

She said that looked-after children were vulnerable to this form of exploitation.

Trevor Egleton said her presentation demonstrated the scale of the problem and its complexity, adding of CSE: “No community is safe from this.”

Referring to the Serious Case Review about CSE in Oxford, he summed up Friday's meeting by saying: “From my point of view, although the report was pretty horrific, the lessons learnt and progress that has been made have been very encouraging.”

Anthony Stansfeld, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Tackling child sexual exploitation is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan and there has already been an immense amount of work across the Thames Valley in this area. I am confident that the police, working with partners, have made significant improvements in understanding the nature of this crime and identifying potential offenders and victims. Thames Valley Police is one of the few police forces doing something about it.”

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