This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Children’s Minister Tim Loughton responds to a major report on Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups published by the University of Bedfordshire. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner is launching a two year inquiry.
Tim Loughton said:
This report is an important contribution to our understanding of the terrible problem of child sexual exploitation. Child sexual exploitation is an appalling form of child abuse and we are determined to do everything possible to stamp it out. I will carefully consider these findings as we develop our action plan to safeguard children and young people from sexual exploitation.
The action plan, to be published later this Autumn, will draw on work around the country to prevent sexual exploitation, identify those at risk and support victims. It will address the challenge of securing prosecutions and the need for robust action against perpetrators.
Local Safeguarding Children Boards have a key role in tackling child sexual exploitation but too many LSCBs are not taking the issue seriously enough and abuse is often remaining hidden from view. Raising awareness must be a priority along with tackling the difficulties that young victims and their families can face in getting justice.
On the inquiry:
I also welcome the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups, which the Department for Education and the authors of the University of Bedfordshire report will be assisting. The inquiry will be a very significant contribution to our collective efforts to understand better, and respond more effectively to, this shocking form of abuse.