PCC developing roadmap to tackle Child Sex Exploitation (24 July 2013)

Today, Wednesday 24th July Mark Burns-Williamson will be joined by Crown Prosecution Service lead on Child Sex Exploitation Nazir Afzal who will open a summit of senior leaders from across the county and national organisations working to tackle CSE in West Yorkshire. The roadmap they will be developing will be key to delivering his commitment in the police and crime plan to work with partners to make children safer from those who exploit vulnerable young people, identifying and punishing those in groups and gangs and who use the internet to sexually exploit young people.

Mark-Burns Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

"There is a number of partners, including our local councils, charities, schools and health services who all have an important role to play alongside the Police and Crown Prosecution Service in tackling Child Sex Exploitation. There is a lot being done day in, day out to keep children and young people in our communities safe. I am committed to using my role to hold partners together to continue to keep delivering on their commitment to tackle this problem."

"We have a duty to keep children and young people safe. They need to know we are here working on their side, and in particular it is important to not only raise awareness of these issues but take every opportunity to prevent and act early to help victims as well as catch and punish those responsible. We will rightly be seeing more of those responsible brought to justice, they have nowhere to hide from us."

Nazir Afzal, the Crown Prosecution Service national lead for CSE said:

"There is sadly no community where children are not at risk from sexual predators. Tens of thousands of children are sexually abused every year in the UK, many of them in Yorkshire. That's why I welcome the work that is being done to protect them here."

"We have spent generations telling children that they should be seen and not heard. Why are we now surprised that we didn't know when we all chose not to listen or to believe? If victims choose not to engage with the justice system, that is our failure, not theirs. The new partnerships demonstrated in West Yorkshire today, will protect and will deliver justice."

Nazir Afzal OBE biography

Nazir Afzal OBE is the Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for the North West Area and is their national lead for CSE. Nazir qualified as a solicitor after studying law in Birmingham and worked in private practice until he joined the CPS in 1991. Before moving to the North West as Chief Crown Prosecutor he had a national role as CPS Director for Communities.
Nazir has pioneered work to tackle honour-based violence and forced marriage, initially bringing this issue to the top of the public agenda through a CPS conference in 2004. He has the national CPS lead on tackling these crimes and on tackling Violence Against Women (domestic violence, rape and other violent offences in which women are predominantly the victims).

CSE

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