Merseyside Police statement following report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
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Following the publication today (Tuesday, 1 February 2022) of the “Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks” report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley said: “Every child matters, should be safe and cared for, and be able to thrive in our communities.
"As police we are doing all we can to pursue and prosecute criminals who exploit and abuse young people. But, as the inquiry has found, more must be done to stop this abuse from happening in the first place.
“Merseyside Police is committed to protecting all children from abuse, and police officers and staff are working closely with our partners to keep children safe.
“Sadly, we know that some of our most vulnerable young people experience harm which has lifelong consequences and policing is committed to keeping our children safe, and protecting them from abuse in all its forms.
“We acknowledge the valuable work of the Inquiry, which quite rightly puts a real focus on children at risk of exploitation,and who have been harmed by exploitation so that they can be better safeguarded. We will reflect and act on the Inquiry’s findings and we accept the recommendations.
“Together with our partners we will reflect on the significant progress we have already made in recent years, and the steps we must take to ensure we act swiftly to prevent children from being abused and exploited. There is no room in our society for those who inflict harm on those who are vulnerable.
“I want to ensure victims are confident that when they take the hugely difficult decision to report to police, that our officers will treat them with the empathy and respect they should expect.
“From the first call we will always aim to demonstrate a caring and compassionate response supporting the victim in providing their evidence and follow further lines of enquiry that seeks to bring offenders to justice.
“I urge anyone who has suffered in this most appalling way, wherever and whenever this was to come forward, when they are ready to talk. Care, help and support is available.
“We have specialist teams committed to dealing with all forms of child abuse, who will treat any information from you extremely seriously, and will follow up on every report and any information that comes in.
“If you are, or have been a victim of child abuse, we would urge you to contact us so we can provide you with the right support and ensure that justice is done, but we also realise that it is important that you report to us when it is the right time for you.
“Or if you think a child, or children could be at risk of child abuse, please report this to us. We can make an assessment and take the necessary action.
“Call 999 if you suspect such an incident is in progress, or pass any other information via 101, @MerPolCC on social media, or anonymously via 0800 555 111."
If you are a child or young person suffering sexual or physical abuse, the following organisations can also provide help and support:
NSPCC – call 0808 800 5000 or e-mail [email protected] Childline – call 0800 1111 Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Assault Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 558 1801