West Midlands Police Has Identified Over 200 Youngsters At Risk Of Sexual Abuse

Efforts Have Been Increased To Improve Child Protection In The Region

04.11.2014

West Midlands police force has identified 210 children it believes may be at risk of sexual abuse, with Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes claiming many more youngsters may be at risk.

The claims follow a review into the standards of child protection investigations in the region following a review by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, which gave the force six weeks to improve child protection, after accusing staff of a “lack of understanding” of the extent of the issue.

Since the report the force’s Public Protection Unit, which is responsible for investigations into child sexual exploitation, has more than doubled in size from 350 people to 800.

Police are reviewing historic sex offences against 12 to 17 year olds and attempting to improve links with councils and other organisations involved in protecting the vulnerable and prosecuting offenders.

ACC Foulkes added: "Street grooming is still a challenge but the main problem is the internet. People are being increasingly sexualised and the younger population has ever greater access to it.”

Expert Opinion
It is positive to see the West Midlands police force is acting on the recent review and taking steps to improve the way it deal with allegations of sexual abuse and how it protects those deemed at risk.

“The main priority should be ensuring young people have access to the help and support they need, whether they are survivors of abuse or those who wish to report incidents of abuse to the police.

“It is important that lessons are quickly learned and police officers understand the severity of allegations of sexual abuse and take the appropriate steps to investigate them and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Tom Fletcher, Associate