THIRTY new investigators have been brought in by a Yorkshire police force to help deal with “complex and challenging historical investigations” into child sex abuse.
West Yorkshire Police say the new staff, who have “extensive experience from a policing or social care background”, will join local safeguarding teams.
The initiative is costing £1.5m over two years and the funding has been allocated by crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, who says child sexual exploitation is one of his policing priorities. He said: “Hiring former officers and experts from a child social care background with specialist knowledge of investigations and child protection issues is a good way to increase resources immediately to tackle cases and support victims.
“The money was agreed as part of the budget setting for 2014/15 and in that sense isn’t a surprise.
“It is all around strengthening and building on the safeguarding response in West Yorkshire certainly with increased awareness because of the Savile Inquiry and Operation Yewtree and the increased reporting of sexually related offences as a result.
“I have been meeting regularly with safeguarding experts from across West Yorkshire and this also sends out a strong message around pursuing offenders of these shocking crimes that blight the lives of children in our communities”.
Earlier this year, Mr Burns-Williamson said there were 65 live investigations going on into child sexual exploitation in West Yorkshire. A total of £3.5 million in extra funding has been earmarked to tackle the problem.