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Police response online sexual exploitation is poor

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) – Online and on the edge: real risks in a virtual world – found that the police response to children who have been the victims of online sexual exploitation is poor and needs improving.

HMIC inspector Dru Sharpling, who led the investigations, said there can be “no compromise” when it comes to child protection.

“Getting it right most of the time can never be the explanation for failures that have devastating consequences for the child, carers and families. HMIC found that where cases of child abuse and neglect are straightforward, they are almost always dealt with promptly and efficiently. But often these cases are complicated and unique, so the processes for dealing with them have to adapt. This requires training officers and equipping them with a different set of skills than is required for other types of police investigation.”