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John Campion is welcoming new funding to help protect children in West Mercia from sexual exploitation.

The Home Office has just announced the new £13m ‘Trusted Relationships Fund’. It is open to Police, Councils, Nurses and other partners, to form close protective relationships with the most vulnerable young people. That might include providing special counselling services or working to prevent children repeatedly going missing.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “It is a sad fact that children are sexually exploited every day in communities nationwide. It is an issue that has been under-reported for a long time, but more offences are now being recorded and demand on police is increasing.”

“A lot of work is going on locally to try and encourage more victims to come forward and seek both support and justice, alongside work to prevent offences happening in the first place. I very much welcome this new funding from the Government, which represents a clear acknowledgement of the issue, as well as a commitment to tackling it”.

“I am working hard to address the issue locally, including bolstering victim services, holding the Chief Constable to account on the subject and funding additional projects with partners such as Barnardo’s.”