Candidate for top police job backs charity campaign

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A CANDIDATE in the race to become Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is backing a national campaign to stamp out the sexual abuse of children.

Labour’s Alan Charles, who will be up for election in November, has given his support to the Cut Them Free campaign launched by national children’s charity Barnado’s.

It calls for new Police and Crime Commissioners to state that their police and crime plans will ensure that a senior officer has lead responsibility for the issue.

The charity is also calling for frontline officers to receive training to tackle child sexual exploitation and wants specialist police officers to deal with cases.

Barnardo’s also wants police force to link up with neighbouring forces to tackle child abuse.

Mr Charles said: “I’m delighted today to give the cause my support by backing the Barnado’s Cut them Free campaign and urging everyone in Derbyshire to do the same.

“These are sensible measures that will resonate with everyone who cares about every child’s right to grow and flourish in safety and without fear.

“Derbyshire already has an excellent record in this area of responsibility and as the Police and Crime Commissioner I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure that measures to combat child exploitation are given a deservedly high priority in our Policing Plan.”

Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse in which children and young people under the age of 18 are forced, or groomed, into sexual activity.

Many abusers present as trustworthy figures and exploit vulnerable young people for personal gain.

Police and Crime Commissioners will be elected for the first time in November as a replacement for police authorities, which are currently cross-party bodies which oversee the way police forces are run, how they are funded and perform.

They will have the power to hire and fire Chief Constables .

It is hoped that having one person overseeing police forces will reduce bureaucracy.