West Mids Children Safer Than 2 Years Ago
It's been two years since action was taken to tackle child exploitation in the West Midlands and Capital's been told youngsters round here are safer than they were.
That's according to Birmingham City Council's strategic leader on this - Stephen Rimmer claims there's been more school visits and police investigations in that time.
Stephen, seconded to the West Midlands from the Home Office, has now ended two years as the region's strategic leader on action against the sexual exploitation of children and other vulnerable people.
And, after working closely with councils and other agencies, he believes the West Midlands has made significant progress to protect vulnerable people across the region.
He says: "Increase in enforcement activity is really important to send a very clear message to perpetrators that: We know you're targeting vulnerable people because you think no-one cares about them and we are determined to make your life increasingly unpleasant and miserable and ultimately to lock some of you away.
“Although we've still got a lot more to do on that, the sheer volume of increase in police investigations, in local government activity and in the intelligence we get from other agencies to support that is really positive.
"Secondly, I think that the work, particularly around multi agency safeguarding hubs, in Birmingham, but also right across the West Midlands, has been incredibly important in providing an operating model, a series of processes and systems at the heart of safeguarding our children and our vulnerable adults that simply wasn't around previously in any joined-up way.
"I think that approach to working right across agencies as core business has been really important in protecting our vulnerable communities.
"Thirdly, and more specifically, we've seen a much sharper focus on what we're doing to tackle child sexual exploitation and all the harms that go with that."
While Stephen has been pleased with the progress made, he insists efforts to protect vulnerable people across the region must continue.