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Offences against Children: North of England

Question for Home Office

UIN HL11041, tabled on 25 October 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will invite HM Inspector of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service to analyse and report on the timeliness of the investigations into and prosecutions for sexual offences concerning girls in Huddersfield and other northern towns and cities.

Answered on

7 November 2018

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) is already inspecting the child protection work of every police in England and Wales through its National Child Protection Inspections. As part of these inspections HMICFRS will continue to inspect against forces’ awareness of and response to child sexual abuse and exploitation, including how well the service helps and protects vulnerable children and investigates these crimes.

The investigations in Huddersfield are ongoing and are an operational matter for the local police. It is for the police and Crown Prosecution Service to investigate allegations and build cases for prosecution. These parts of the criminal justice system are independent of government and it is a vital principle that police carry out their duties free from political interference.

It is for the locally elected Police and Crime Commissioner to decide how best to hold his force to account and commission a review if he considers it appropriate.

In addition, in March 2015 the Home Office established the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to consider the extent to which institutions – including the police – have failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. The Inquiry has announced an investigation examining institutional responses to the sexual exploitation of children by organised networks.

Answered by

Home Office