Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Protecting children from exploitation focus for national partnership summit

26th September 2019

Further protecting children from exploitation was the focus for 250 specialists from across the country who are came together for a national partnership conference on the issue (27/09).

Held in Birmingham, the summit focused on further improving the partnership response to protecting children from exploitation and abuse, such as county lines and child sexual exploitation.

Key themes covered included the scale of child criminal exploitation in the UK, developing best practice and innovation, how to strengthen partnership networks, the complexities of tackling child criminal exploitation and a victim focussed response.

The event was delivered by the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Programme (MSPTP) with support from West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and national lead PCC on Modern Slavery, Mark Burns-Williamson.

PCCs, senior leaders and managers from the NPCC, APCC, MSPTP, Police, Local Authorities, Health, Education, Youth Offending Services and Probation were all be represented at the event that had been specifically targeted at those with responsibility for decision making in their organisations.

The conference also featured a key input from a survivor of county lines exploitation who now works for a charity helping children and young people involved in similar situations.

The survivor, said: "I am really pleased to speak at the National Modern Slavery Partnership conference and fully support the work everyone is doing to tackle the criminal exploitation of children and young people. As someone that has personal experience with exploitation I know first-hand how important it is that we have multi agencies working together to address this problem. "

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "The event was a significant opportunity to hear from leading practitioners and draw on their expertise.

"No single organisation can tackle these abuses and exploitation alone. It requires a partnership response by all agencies working together effectively, keeping the victims and survivors of this crime at the heart of what we do which is exactly what the summit was about.

"In recent years, a great deal has been achieved by many agencies who are committed to the protection of vulnerable people and children; providing them with support and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Although it can be exceptionally challenging, it is the unrelenting dedication of people and organisations, like those who attended the event, which is making a real difference to people's lives."

Detective Inspector Harry Dick, Regional Coordinator East Midlands Region for the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Unit, said: "We are delighted to be participating in the conference which has demonstrated not just the role policing has to play to protect children from exploitation but also how our partners are doing incredible work, particularly supporting the survivors who have been caught up in this crime.

"Partnership working is key to tackling all forms of criminality and to provide appropriate safeguarding measures. The conference has certainly highlighted the positive impact of a collaborative approach, however there is much more to be done.

"The Modern Slavery Police Transformation Programme is promoting the work of Police and Crime Commissioner's across England and Wales in the development of their strategies and collaboration with police forces to tackle modern slavery and exploitation and we will maintain our momentum in doing so."

You can following the event on Twitter on using the accounts @WestYorksOPCC and @policingslavery.