Offences against Children: Newcastle upon Tyne

Attorney General written question – answered on 24th July 2018.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the oral contribution of the Solicitor General of 21 June 2018, Official Report, column 462, when he plans to respond to the Spicer report on the sexual exploitation of girls and young women in Newcastle.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

Holding answer received on 19 July 2018

David Spicer’s comprehensive review sheds light on abhorrent child sexual exploitation and I have not taken this matter lightly. The Home Office will be writing to you on behalf of the Government shortly.

I would like to reassure you that the CPS, along with the wider Government, is committed to improving the national response to tackling sexual exploitation. The CPS will be considering its guidance on the involvement of the Service with the changing local safeguarding arrangements in line with the broader recommendations. Specifically, CPS North East is working closely with Newcastle Crown Court and other partners within the Criminal Justice System to improve the experience of victims and witnesses when attending court and to ensure that the commitments to witness care set out in the Victim’s Code and the Witness Charter are properly delivered.

More broadly, the Government has already taken significant action to tackle this issue. In February 2017, the Government published its Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation: Progress Report and announced a £40m package of measures to protect children and young people from sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and to crack down on offenders. This included £7.5m for a new, ground-breaking Centre of Expertise that will identify, generate, and share high quality evidence of what works to prevent and tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation. The recommendations of the review cover a wide range of issues, which we will consider carefully in the context of this existing programme of work.

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