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Police response to CSE to be investigated

The police’s response to Child Sexual Exploitation is to be inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

The Home Secretary has instructed the national inspection to ensure learning from past mistakes around Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is being applied by police forces across the country, so that they can respond effectively to all victims and bring more offenders to justice.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation have told me how they have been failed by the state in the name of political correctness.

“We need to understand how the police interacted with local schools, healthcare providers, children’s services and other arms of the state and pertinent questions will need to be asked to ensure that previous failings are not repeated.

“Although I believe the policing response to these issues has evolved, I want to ensure current practice is relentless in protecting children, supporting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice, which is why I am requesting this inspection,” she added.

The commission follows the recent Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report into CSE by organised networks and a number of other reviews in local areas such as the Bradford district, which have highlighted inadequacies in past responses to CSE.

The inspection will include:

  • The effectiveness of police assessments of the nature and scale of offending in their area, with particular attention paid to information sharing, problem profiling, and the collection of data, including on the characteristics of CSE offenders.
  • The attitudes of police towards victims.
  • The nature, adequacy and timeliness of responses, including the use of proactive prevention and disruption tools and the quality of criminal investigations.

“This national inspection will assess current policing practice across England and Wales, to ensure all police forces are employing the most effective approaches in protecting victims from CSE and relentlessly pursuing offenders,” the statement concluded.

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