HOME secretary Amber Rudd has announced a £40 million package to protect children from sexual exploitation and trafficking — and to help crack down on offenders.
The Government investment includes the launch of a Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, £20 million for the National Crime Agency to tackle online CSE, £2.2 million for organisations working to help protect children from trafficking and the launch of Independent Child Trafficking Advocates in Wales, Hampshire and Manchester ahead of full national rollout.
Mrs Rudd said: “Since 2010, the Government has done more than any other to tackle these horrific offences. We have increased support for victims of sexual abuse, invested in training and technology to improve law enforcement’s response to abuse both on and offline, and brought in a tougher inspection regime to ensure all front-line professions are meeting their child protection duties.
“But there is more to do, the measures I am announcing today will further improve our ability to protect children.”
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said the announcement was “fabulous news” but called for more to be done to support victims.
She said: “Whilst the police, social services and CPS have come a long way, and we are seeing more prosecutions as a result, we have still been falling short on providing appropriate care to the victims and survivors. Sadly, the Government’s announcement does not go far enough to address this.
“It concerns me that as a country we are still not recognising the scale of child abuse in the UK, so this funding commitment demonstrates real progress, but should only be seen as a first step.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said the “bulk” of the £40 million was nationwide and none was specifically coming to Rotherham.
But she added £7.5 million was given to South Yorkshire Police in grant funding over the last two years for Operation Stovewood — an independent investigation into non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham between 1997-2013.
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