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Home Secretary marks 12 months of CSE Taskforce

Victims and Survivors at the heart of Child Sexual Exploitation Taskforce as Home Secretary marks 12 months of ground-breaking work.

A year since the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Taskforce was launched by the Prime Minister, yesterday (Monday 20 May), Home Secretary, James Cleverley MP marked the occasion by hearing first-hand how policing is working at a local and national level to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation and prevent harm. 

Mr Cleverly met representatives from local and national third sector organisations who work alongside forces to ensure a joined-up approach when supporting some of the community’s most vulnerable victims. He then joined student officers at a bespoke CSE awareness training session before meeting with senior investigating officers who head up some of the most complex CSE investigations in the country.

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Ian Critchley QPM, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection and abuse investigations, said:

“Since the Taskforce was launched, significant strides have been made to enhance the policing response to CSE investigation as well as co-ordinate best practice and guidance to further protect victims and disrupt perpetrators, through working closely with forces such as Essex.

“Sadly, we know that CSE in many forms is still prevalent in our communities. The way we listen to, and support victims and survivors of these most abhorrent crimes is key to building on and maintaining the progress we have already made through the work of the CSE Taskforce and dedicated force teams. I hope this assures victims that when they take what is often a difficult decision to report to police, that they will be treated with empathy and respect and with the utmost professionalism. We are committed and dedicated to bringing more offenders to justice of these appalling crimes, wherever and whenever they have been committed and the taskforce are supporting force operations across the country. 

“While it is important to acknowledge how far we have come particularly in the last 12-months, it is essential we continue to learn and make changes to help inform and influence all our work, in particular working alongside children’s services and valued third sector partners in encompassing the voice of victims and survivors in all we do.

“We are not standing still. It is incumbent on us all in society and different communities to prevent these offences that have a lifelong impact on victims. We remain dedicated to ensuring we identify, protect and support victims and are committed to the relentless pursuit of offenders to bring them to justice.” 

 

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Chief Executive for the National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), Gabrielle Shaw, said:

"NAPAC's dynamic partnership with the CSE Taskforce highlights the transformative power of collaboration between national policing and third-sector organisations. Throughout the past year, NAPAC has co-led the victims and survivors' engagement thematic area of the Taskforce’s work, ensuring that survivor voices are not just heard, but integrated into the evolution of policing approaches.

“The synergy between NAPAC's research into survivors' encounters with justice and the deep dive reports produced this year on the voice of the victim has been instrumental in reshaping outcomes for abuse survivors and fortifying safeguarding measures. By nurturing proactive, survivor-centric alliances like the one forged with the CSE Taskforce, we pave the way for systemic shifts that will significantly enhance support structures for survivors."