Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has added his support to calls from leading MPs that more must be done by the Government and child support agencies to tackle child sexual exploitation both locally and nationally.
This week a report by Barnardo’s was launched following a Parliamentary Inquiry into the effectiveness of the 2003 Sexual Offences Act.
After hearing testimonies from a range of victims, police, local authorities and leading members of the legal and voluntary sectors, the report outlined a number of changes that were needed to the existing legislation governing child sexual exploitation.
Its recommendations included:
- Strengthening Child Abduction Warning Notices to make it a criminal offence to breach the conditions of the notice
- Amending the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to remove the need for a second contact in the offence of ‘meeting a child following sexual grooming’
- More powers to be given to Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards
- Removal of the term “child prostitution” from legislation
- Changes to the way children learn about sexual exploitation in schools with a focus on prevention
- Specialist training to be given to all judges and lawyers involved in cases of child sexual exploitation
- Information about the myths and stereotypes about child sexual exploitation to be provided to jurors on relevant cases
Commenting on the findings of the report and its recommendations, Tony said:
“This report represents an important milestone for those of us who are committed to tackling the unjust and abhorrent sexual exploitation of children.
“The Government must now listen to the recommendations that have been made. We cannot afford to simply pay lip-service to victims and people on the frontline whose recommendations can help to protect vulnerable individuals and potentially save lives.” Tony Lloyd