GOVERNMENT CUTS TO SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND THE REJECTION OF FUNDING FOR VICTIMS WILL NOT PREVENT CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion slammed the Government in Parliament yesterday over its lack of resources to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in South Yorkshire. The attack came after the Home Secretary rejected a National Crime Agency bid for support for Rotherham victims and South Yorkshire Police announced it was to cut 850 staff over the next four years. In a question to Home Secretary Theresa May, Sarah Champion MP said:
On Friday, the South Yorkshire PCC announced the loss of 850 police staff because of Government cuts. Also last week, the National Crime Agency's application to the Home Office for support for Rotherham's 1,400 victims of child abuse was rejected. How are we meant to bring down child sexual exploitation when the Government are cutting police resources?
The National Crime Agency had applied for additional support from the Home Office for a multi-agency centre to provide support to victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation. This application was rejected.
Also last week, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings announced that 850 police staff were to be cut over the next four years, with the loss of 115 police officers and 732 support workers. Since 2010, more than 1,000 police jobs have been lost, including 458 officers. The Home Office workforce statistics show that 40,000 police jobs (officers, staff and PCSOs) have been lost nationally between 2010 and 2015. The real terms cut in Government funding to South Yorkshire Police is 4,288,680 next year.
The Home Secretary failed to answer Champion's question, saying that overall police budgets were protected and that the National Crime Agency had been given the necessary resources for its investigation.