There has been an increase in reported cases of child sexual exploitation, where youngsters are groomed and then abused either on line, by older boyfriends, people in a position of trust or gangs. Police will be visiting various establishments (hotels, taxi firms, parks and takeaways) across East Lancashire as part of a major crackdown on child grooming. This investigation has already commenced.
Reports made between 467 reports were made between April and August compared to 353 during the same period last year.
Lancashire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ibrahim Master said: “The Jimmy Savile scandal has given victims more confidence to come forward, hence you see increased reporting of child sexual exploitation”….
The week-long campaign, which aims to deliver the message: ‘The More You Know, The More You See’, will see police carrying out ‘disruption work’ at hotspots, where children are known to be targeted.
Officers will be visiting schools, foster carers, and faith leaders, to talk about grooming, and working with other agencies. It includes a poster campaign and internet safety advice and it follows the success of last year’s child sexual exploitation awareness week, the first of its kind in Lancashire.
Det Supt Critchley said: “The impact of child abuse can have lifetime consequences, and we want children, or people who are now in adulthood, to come forward. There’s no time limit, and that’s a message for victims, but it’s also a message for offenders.
“No matter when, or where, the abuse of children takes place, we will always seek to bring offenders to justice for what are horrendously-abusive and abhorrent crimes.”
A Home Affairs select committee report into child sexual exploitation, and localised grooming, praised Lancashire Police, saying the force was ‘considered a leader in innovative policing of child sexual exploitation’.
The report also revealed that, in 2012, Lancashire Police secured 100 successful prosecutions relating to child sexual exploitation, whereas South Yorkshire had none in the same period.
Earlier this year, a Brierfield man was jailed for four years and three months for abusing a 12-year-old girl. His brother was jailed for 15 months after admitting perverting the course of justice. He was said to have bombarded the youngster with 350 text messages.
It is important for children to report any of this type of behavior and it is also important for parents to ensure they are frequently checking what their children are doing on line and who they are chatting to.
Jordans Child Abuse Solicitors are committed to help victims of child abuse. If you have been or know someone who is being groomed or has been groomed and may be being abused, please contact Jordans for free confidential advice on 01924 457171 or freephone 0800 9555 094.