110 Children at Risk of Sex Abuse in North Yorkshire
3:46pm 9th October 2014
(Updated 3:51pm 9th October 2014)
Around 110 children in North Yorkshire are at risk of being sexually abused, the county's Police Commissioner has told Minster FM.
Julia Mulligan says 20 of those children are at the highest level of risk.
The county's Police Commissioner has been speaking to Minster FM after she and Chief Constable Dave Jones announced a check on procedures to make sure North Yorkshire Police is doing all it can to protect vulnerable children.
There are eighty known child sex offenders in North Yorkshire at eighteen towns and cities around the county, including York and Scarborough.
But Police Commissioner Julia Mulligan says she is "largely" satisfied that the right procedures are in place and emphasised that she does not believe the county is at risk of a major abuse scandal like the one in Rotherham.
In recent years, more money has been put into protecting vulnerable children, creating a sexual abuse referral centre (SARC) and into support for victims. Recent inspections have also found North Yorkshire Police is doing well at protecting vulnerable children from exploitation.
However, both Police Commissioner Julia Mulligan and Chief Constable Dave Jones say after the scandal in Rotherham they want to be certain that the best systems are in place to stop similar issues developing in North Yorkshire.
Julia Mulligan said in a statement:
“Child Sexual Exploitation is quite rightly a top priority for both myself and North Yorkshire Police, and on behalf of the public I need to by fully reassured this is being dealt with appropriately."
"I have asked the Chief Constable for a comprehensive update on our plans to tackle this issue, how we are working with partners, and most importantly, what we are doing to safeguard children from sexual exploitation.”
Chief Constable Dave Jones said:
“Child sexual exploitation is clearly a very worrying issue that must remain a top priority for the police service and partner agencies to safeguard vulnerable young people from this despicable abuse."
“Whilst various recent inspections show North Yorkshire Police and its safeguarding partners have effective practice and procedures, I fully support the additional scrutiny instigated by the Commissioner."
“Not only will it help to ensure offenders are brought to justice and victims receive the best possible service from the police, it is an important measure to reassure residents that the authorities in North Yorkshire and York are working effectively to tackle child sexual exploitation.”
A report updating the Commissioner and Chief Constable on measures to prevent child sexual exploitation will be presented to them on Wednesday.
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