Sarah Champion MP slams the government for blocking a law to better protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Sarah Champion MP has today slammed the Government for blocking an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill that would ensure the police use all the available tools at their disposal to prevent potential abusers from grooming children for sex. Yesterday evening, Sarah Champion MP, the Shadow Minister for Preventing Abuse and Domestic Violence led on a change to the law that would compel the police to record how they are tackling child sexual exploitation, including when they issue a Child Abduction Warning Notice (CAWN).
CAWNs are used by the police to disrupt contact between a predatory adult suspected of grooming a child and the victim. Currently many police forces are failing to record when a warning notice is issued and when it is breached making it impossible to know how effective they are or how big the problem of grooming is across the UK.
Sarah Champion MP proposed an amendment to ensure that individual police forces are compelled to keep track of notices issued. The change in legislation would also have required the Government to review the use of CAWNs annually and report back to Parliament, in an attempt to monitor child grooming.
Commenting the Government's actions, Sarah said:
By blocking this change in the law, the Government are failing in their duty to do all they can to protect children from predatory paedophiles.
Without recording the breach of a Child Abduction Warning Notice, the police are hampered in their efforts to build a body of evidence against a potential abuser. This could leave a child at risk of serious sexual abuse and exploitation, which could otherwise have been prevented.
Police, Parliament and Government must know if the existing measures in place to protect children are working, and we can only do that by keeping track of their use. It is our duty to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse, and yesterday evening, the Government failed in their duty to keep children safe.