‘Tackling CSE is one of my top priorities’

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burnes-Williamson in Halifax
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burnes-Williamson in Halifax

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, highlighted the work he has done in tackling child sexual exploitation on National CSE Awareness day.

Mr Burns-Williamson was at the Shay Stadium in Halifax last Friday to open a Crimestoppers conference, which launched its new awareness campaign highlighting on street child sexual exploitation (CSE).

The charity said that all children can be vulnerable to this type of abuse, which starts when victims are met and groomed in public places.

Now the charity and West Yorkshire Police are hoping to tackle the issue by working with professionals in the region who may have contact with potential perpetrators and those who have contact with children.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “This conference is an important event in our continued fight to prevent the abuse of children from child sexual exploitation (CSE) and how we can better work together to identify and bring to justice those who perpetrate this devastating crime.

“Tackling CSE has always been one of my top priorities as well as other safeguarding activity set out within my Police and Crime Plan, which is why I have previously brought partners together to focus and co-ordinate work on CSE and have made an extra £3.5m available to the police for increased capacity to deal with CSE, human trafficking and cyber-crime.

“Through a number of events I have held, I consulted with the communities and partners of West Yorkshire and agreed with the five directors of children’s services a two-year £440,000 project focused on CSE.

“This includes engagement in a schools programme to raise awareness in all five districts, raising awareness is key to prevention and protection and today is another initiative to do just that.”