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Conference to tackle child sexual exploitation in East Lancs
9:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
PROFESSIONALS from across the whole of Lancashire came together at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Clayton-le-Moors yesterday for a dedicated conference aimed at tackling child sexual exploitation.
The one day conference allowed experts from a wide range of partnerships and safeguarding boards to hear and discuss best practice and raise awareness of the complex issues around child sexual exploitation.
Representatives from dozens of organisations including Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council, the Crown Prosecution Service North West, The Office of the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, and The Office of the Children’s Commissioner attended the conference.
The conference covered lessons learned from recent high profile investigations and their impact on community cohesion, and also featured presentations from victims of child sexual exploitation and their families.
Saima Afzal, assistant Police and Crime Commissioner with responsibility for victims of crime, said: “The conference will allow us to get key messages out to agencies and partners, and the other way round - it will allow us to get ideas and information from them, so that we can protect young people and bring perpetrators to justice.
“We are aware it won’t all happen at one event, but it’s about getting the conversation going.”
Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “Today is about showing best practice, actually providing information to people of some new risks around sexual exploitation so they can raise awareness particularly around the internet.
“We can hear about case studies, we can hear about real life investigation and partnership working, and hopefully what we want to do, with the significant amount of people coming, is to share that knowledge of information, hear about what their experiences are, push the boundaries in the terms of tackling what we see as one the most significant emerging threats.”
And Detective Superintendent Ian Critchley, head of Lancashire police’s Public Protection unit, said: “This conference will be valuable in bringing together different perspectives in order that we can work effectively together to deal with CSE, promote best practice amongst fellow professionals and our joint commitment to safe-guarding children.”
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