Offences against Children

Home Office written question – answered on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether grooming gangs are still operating in Rotherham or elsewhere; and, if so, what steps they are taking to stop them.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

The Government attaches the highest priority to tackling all forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation. We know from our work with police forces that child sexual exploitation, as perpetrated by groups, still happens in many areas of the country and can manifest in different ways.

We continue to prioritise child sexual abuse as a national threat, one of six such threats that require prioritisation by forces. We have provided significant extra investment through the Police Transformation Fund (PTF) to transform policing to respond to changing crimes and threats including crimes against vulnerable people such as child sexual abuse.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) is satisfied that forces in England and Wales have identified child sexual exploitation as a priority within their work on organised crime.

As a result of the attention given by police forces to this form of offending, we have seen a number of successful prosecutions in recent months, including in Rotherham and Huddersfield.

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