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Vera Baird attends Prime Minister’s Child Sexual Exploitation Summit

3rd March 2015

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC is in London to take part in the Prime Minister’s high level Summit in Downing Street on tackling Child Sexual Exploitation.

This follows Mrs Baird describing the much-praised work done by Northumbria Police in Operation Sanctuary to the Prime Minister’s policy adviser at an earlier meeting at No 10 just before Christmas. Mrs Baird is expected to speak about the important role of community engagement both in identifying where sexual exploitation is occurring and in supporting police investigations.

The Summit which is being led by the Prime Minister, will hear from Secretaries of State from across Government, including the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, Home Secretary Theresa May and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.  Each Minister will focus on how their department can help tackle Child Sexual Exploitation.

Commissioner Baird added: “The Summit will last three and half hours and it is imperative that we look at all opportunities to encourage victims to come forward, how the Criminal Justice System can play a more effective role in bringing perpetrators before the courts and ensuring that schools, local government and other partners all understand the role they have to play in tackling CSE.

“However, my main message to this Government will be that snap announcements and short-term funding will neither unearth sexual exploitation or change the culture that has protected it for so long. The strongest decision the Prime Minister could announce today to assist in this vital work is to stop undermining police by slashing their budgets and I shall tell him so.”

Since 2010, Northumbria Police has had to make cuts to their budget of £118 million.