– Home Secretary delivers a package of measures to protect children and pursue offenders

– A ground-breaking £7.5m ‘Centre of Expertise’ will become the authoritative source of research and innovation on tackling child sexual abuse and exploitation

– £20m committed to the National Crime Agency (NCA) to target online child sexual exploitation

– £2.2m from the Child Trafficking Protection Fund will help protect vulnerable children who are at risk of trafficking

– Independent Child Trafficking Advocates will provide specialist support to trafficked children in three early adopter sites across the country

The Home Secretary has today (16 February) announced the delivery of a £40 million package of Government measures to protect children and young people from sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and to crack down on offenders.

Welsh Conservatives hailed the initiative a “vital weapon” in the fight against child abuse, which according to the NSPCC affects nearly 3000 children across Wales.

 

It includes the launch of a new Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, an extra £20m for the National Crime Agency to tackle online child sexual exploitation, £2.2m for organisations working to protect children at risk of trafficking and the launch of Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) in three early-adopter sites across the UK.

 

Amber Rudd announced the measures after visiting ‘Safer Futures’ in Salford, Greater Manchester, a counselling centre for victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  The counselling centre is run by Barnardo’s, which heads the Centre of Expertise and delivers the ICTA service.

 

Welcoming the move, Darren Millar AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Children, said:

“The measures announced today by the Home Secretary are very welcome and I am confident they will serve to make Wales and the UK a safer place for our children.

“There are over 620,000 children in Wales under the age of 18 – nearly 3000 of which were last year identified as needing protection from abuse. The rise in the use of social media platforms has left them more vulnerable than ever.

“Conservatives have done more than any other Government to tackle the horrors of child abuse – from increasing support for victims to improving law enforcement – but there is more to do.

“These new initiatives are a vital weapon in the fight to bring those that would try and steal the innocence of children to justice.”


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