UK Government publishes new strategy to protect children from sexual abuse

28th January 2021

The UK Government has published a new strategy to help protect children from all forms of sexual abuse.

Plans include investment in the UK’s Child Abuse Image Database and utilising new tools to identify offenders more quickly while helping to protect officers from repeated exposure to indecent images.

It will also be made easier for parents to check with the police if someone has a criminal record for child sexual offences, and the introduction of an Online Safety Bill will ensure that technology companies are held to account for harmful content on their sites.

This will be in addition to civil orders to stop reoffending and stronger sentencing for serious violent and sexual offenders.

Eleri Thomas, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We welcome the new strategy from the UK Government which will help us all to keep more children safe from sexual abuse.

“The new Online Safety Bill comes at critical time when we know that online risks have increased for grooming and online abuse due to children being at home and spending more time online. This will help us to challenge the big companies that run these platforms to do more to protect children.

“It is also good to hear that the wellbeing of officers working on these case is being given serious consideration as repeated, long term exposure to this material can have devastating impacts on their mental health.

“In Wales we are already leading the way in our response to child sexual abuse through the Welsh Government’s National Action Plan and this new UK-wide strategy will give us even more tools in the fight against these appalling crimes.”