Government to publish paper on group-based offending

The Home Secretary has announced that the government will publish a paper into group-based child sexual exploitation in order to better understand the characteristics of group-based offending and help deliver justice for victims.

The paper, to be published later this year, will outline the insights gained from this work and focus on how agencies can learn lessons from the past to tackle group-based offending and safeguard vulnerable children.

The Home Office will set up an external reference group of experts to review the research before its publication.

The work was commissioned by the previous Home Secretary to better understand the scale and nature of group-based child sexual exploitation, including the characteristics of offenders, victims and the context in which these crimes are committed.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Victims of these sickening child sex abuse groups have told me how they were let down by the state in the name of political correctness.

What happened to these children remains one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience. It is shameful.

I am determined to deliver justice for victims and ensure something like this can never happen again.

The Home Office continues to support and drive improvements in the police response to child sexual abuse, which will be discussed at the virtual Hidden Harms Summit on Thursday.

The event will bring together government, law enforcement and the charity sector to work together to protect vulnerable people during the lockdown, including children at risk of sexual abuse.

Last September, the government announced an additional £30 million to take down the worst offenders and safeguard victims.

The Home Office will shortly publish the first of its kind cross-government Child Sexual Abuse Strategy to improve the UK’s response to tackling this abhorrent crime.

It will set out how we will work across all agencies – including government, law enforcement, safeguarding and industry – to stop offenders in their tracks, and to help victims and survivors rebuild their lives.

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