New role to tackle child sexual exploitation (18 May 2015)

Safeguarding Coordinator

A former Police Officer will be advising others on the best way to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Stuart Piper has just joined the team at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) as a Safeguarding Co-ordinator to work with partners across West Yorkshire in developing a strong and consistent approach.

Stuart Piper said: "Protecting vulnerable children and young people is a vital part of everything we do. Instances of CSE have unfortunately increased nationwide. There is no room for complacency and preventing CSE is a top priority."

Stuart previously worked at West Yorkshire Police's old City and Holbeck Division as their Safeguarding Lead and has most recently been providing multi-agency safeguarding training and providing support and advice to investigations.

He added: "My aim is to develop a cohesive and consistent response to CSE in West Yorkshire. I plan to do this by developing partnerships between key stakeholders and supporting the work of the West Yorkshire CSE Strategy Group.

"I am very keen to identify best practice from local, regional and national sources and assist in keeping children and young people safe."

Stuart plans to deliver through effective education, increased awareness and giving victims confidence and trust in the authorities responsible.

Tackling CSE and serious sexual offences remains a priority for the Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, who made an extra £3.5million available to West Yorkshire Police last year to deal with CSE as well as Human Trafficking and Cyber-Crime. He also allocated £440,000 to raise awareness of CSE in schools, increase support for victims, provide out of district sanctuaries for victims and establish information sharing protocols and data tracking to cross reference vulnerable people across local authority boundaries. This money has also been used to fund the new Safeguarding Co-ordinator post. In addition local groups and organisations that help tackle CSE have been given grants totalling £61,000 from the PCC's Safer Communities Fund.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "CSE and sexual abuse are abhorrent crimes and I welcome the addition of Stuart to the team and all the knowledge he brings in dealing with CSE. His new role will add to the already strong team of people looking at how we can improve the way we deal with CSE here in West Yorkshire. Tackling CSE is one of the priorities I set out in the Police and Crime Plan and I am pleased to have been able to provide extra funding to help those at risk of CSE and sexual abuse and raising awareness to prevent others from becoming victims. I will do all I can working with partners in safeguarding services to help people in West Yorkshire be safer and feel safer."

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