John Campion: Groups need to work together to help children at risk
A joined up approach by different agencies and councils is needed to help children at risk of criminal or sexual exploitation, Shropshire's police and crime commissioner has said.
John Campion said that working together, agencies could tackle the complex issues that lead young people into crime.
His comments come after a new £2 million programme was launched by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.
The Tackling Child Exploitation Support programme is designed to improve how different local areas respond to child exploitation – such as gang, county lines drug dealing, online grooming, sexual exploitation, trafficking or modern slavery.
Mr Campion welcomed the campaign.
“An holistic, joined up approach is the right way forward, to deal with some of the emerging and multifaceted challenges which police and other agencies face," he said.
"We all have a part to play in protecting children, and I welcome the Government’s focus and investment, understanding the importance bringing agencies together to tackle the complexities behind with some of the most difficult crime types.
"I will continue to ensure, this is a priority here in West Mercia, and that the police have the resources to continue to keep our communities and children safe.”
Mr Hinds said: "Being safe at school and having a stable home life is the best form of protection for the children as they grow up – but we know that those who are the most vulnerable, are the most at risk of exploitation of those who want to take advantage of them.
“We are all united in cracking down on those who try to lead vulnerable young people down a dangerous path, and the threats they face are multiple and complex.
"We must make sure that we work together and this new approach to better support teachers, police and health professionals will improve the expertise and guidance available to all those who care for and educate young people.”