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PCC John Campion has welcomed a national report into police forces’ response to group-based child sexual exploitation (CSE) across the UK.

The latest report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), in which West Mercia Police was not named, noted that whilst progression has been made to tackle group based CSE by police forces, further work is needed to improve police culture around investigations and treatment of victims and survivors.

Working in collaboration with West Mercia Police, the PCC has provided, and continues to provide, the force with the tools and resources needed to tackle CSE. The PCC also holds assurance and accountability meetings with the Chief Constable to ensure progressive action is being taken by the force, most notably with regards to the Telford inquiry and the implementation of recommendations to tackle CSE.

As part of the wider work the PCC is undertaking to prevent and protect children and young people from being exploited, he has also made investments into several projects. Some of these include projects which are having a significant impact in tackling CSE, such as The Children Society’s CLIMB project and services which offer tailored support to children and young people, as well as providing measures around education and prevention.

PCC John Campion said: “I welcome this report by the HMICFRS to address a national problem that doesn’t get the attention it needs.

“Children and young people are some of the most vulnerable in society. Therefore, action needs to be taken to ensure any form of CSE is prevented from ever happening and that the correct safeguarding measures are in place to protect them.

“In West Mercia, I have been working with the force to ensure tackling CSE is and remains a top priority. I will continue to support, seek assurance and hold the force to account by challenging and supporting the implementation of the recommendations made in this latest report.”