25 Nov 2016

Responding to the HMIC report into the Metropolitan Police Service’s response to child abuse and sexual exploitation, Peter Grigg, Director of External Affairs at The Children’s Society, said:

"It is simply unacceptable that children who are at serious risk of abuse and harm are so often being let down by the Met police. The failings highlighted in this report are not new - they are issues that have been raised again and again and they need to be addressed urgently.

"Children who go missing are extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation, yet in many cases chances to protect them are being missed because the police have not properly assessed the risks they face, or have failed to record or share crucial information. In other cases, children are put into a low risk category that dismisses their experience as a temporary absence. 

“All children should be able to feel confident that the police will help them. The Met police must act quickly to improve its systems and make sure that police, social services and the voluntary and community sector work together effectively, and the misleading category of ‘absent’ needs to be scrapped. On a national level the Government must introduce a missing children’s database to prevent vulnerable children falling through the gaps.”

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Notes to editor

  • The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Our supporters around the country fund our services and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side.