Call on Devon and Cornwall police to do more to tackle child sex abusers
DEVON and Cornwall Police Force can do more to tackle child sexual exploitation, according to a Police and Crime Commissioner candidate.
Nicky Williams, Labour candidate for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, has backed the Barnardo's Cut Them Free campaign ahead of the elections for the new post of Police and Crime Commissioner next month.
She said: "Devon and Cornwall Police must prioritise tackling child sexual exploitation, building on work they have already done to support young victims and facilitate prosecutions. As a member of Plymouth's Children's Safeguarding Board I have been working in partnership with other agencies to tackle the problem of child sexual exploitation. I fully 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."
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Barnardo's has developed an anti-child sexual exploitation checklist of seven 'achievable asks' 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 South West director, Yvonne Rodgers, said:
"Children in Devon and Cornwall are being groomed, trapped and exploited for sex. This appalling abuse must stop."
Elections for the new post of Police and Crime Commissioner are to be held on November 15, 2012.