Catherine McKinnell MP, Labour's Shadow Minister for Children and Young Families, responding to the leaked contents of the Department of Education's Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation action plan, today said:
“Child sexual exploitation is a particularly horrendous crime, and the tireless work of organisations like Barnardo’s has helped to uncover just how prevalent this disturbing problem is in our society. I am also pleased that the Deputy Children's Commissioner for England is undertaking a review into this very important issue.
“Of course, Government departments and local agencies could and should be working more closely together to support vulnerable victims and deal properly with the perpetrators. However, research indicates that only one in four Local Safeguarding Children Boards are implementing the statutory guidance already issued by the Labour Government back in 2009.
“There are real concerns that Ministers are failing to recognise the pressure that local authorities, the police, the NHS and Crown Prosecution Service are being put under as a result of budget cuts, and whether these organisations will have the necessary resources available to step up their work in stamping out this heinous criminality."