The government will publish a paper into group-based child sexual exploitation later this year to better understand the characteristics of this type of offending and safeguard vulnerable children.
The Home Secretary announced that the paper will provide insights gained from the work and outline how agencies can learn lessons to help deliver justice for victims.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Victims of these sickening child sex abuse groups have told me how they were let down by the state in the name of political correctness.
“What happened to these children remains one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience. It is shameful.
“I am determined to deliver justice for victims and ensure something like this can never happen again,” she added.
Previous Home Secretary Sajid Javid commissioned the work to better understand the scale and nature of group-based child sexual exploitation, including the characteristics of offenders, victims and the context in which these crimes are committed.
An external reference group of experts will be established by the Home Office to review the research before its publication.
The Home Office continues to support and drive improvements in the police response to child sexual abuse, and the issue was discussed at the recent virtual Hidden Harms Summit on which bought together government, law enforcement and charities to work together to protect vulnerable people during the lockdown, including children at risk of sexual abuse.
The government announced an additional £30 million last September to tackle the worst offenders and safeguard victims.
The Home Office will shortly publish the first of its kind cross-government Child Sexual Abuse Strategy to improve the UK’s response to tackling this abhorrent crime. It will outline how the government, law enforcement, safeguarding and industry will work together to stop offenders in their tracks, and to help victims and survivors rebuild their lives.