The inquiry will examine the challenges face in bringing successful prosecutions against those who are involved in the localised grooming of children for sexual exploitation. In particular, the Committee will consider:
- The proportion of child victims in local authority care or otherwise known to social services
- Whether the current criteria for triggering involvement by social services in individual cases take adequate account of the signs of localised grooming
- The support provided to victims and witnesses by a range of agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, Police and voluntary agencies
- Whether front-line agencies are adequately equipped to identify victims and intervene at an early stage
- The extent to which Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) have implemented key aspects of national guidance on child sexual exploitation, including the quality of partnership working between LSCBs, care services and police within and between local authority areas
- The circumstances under which care services report missing children to the police
- The quality of data collection, data sharing and research on child victims of localised grooming
- The degree of coordination between the Department for Education’s child sexual exploitation strategy and the Home Office’s human trafficking strategy.
The Committee took evidence on this subject on 12 June 2012, from representatives of Rochdale Council, Greater Manchester Police, and CEOP, and from the Deputy Children's Commissioner for England. A transcript of the session is available on the Committee’s website. Further evidence sessions will be announced in due course.
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
"The Committee were shocked to hear that the number of victims of child sexual exploitation runs into the thousands. Child grooming is clearly not an issue relating to one northern town but a national issue that requires thorough investigation.
We have therefore decided launch an inquiry so that we can deal with the causes, affects and find solutions to prevent this kind of outrage from happening again and to bring the perpetrators to justice."
Written evidence is invited from interested parties. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Tuesday 28 August 2012.
Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.
Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail to email@example.com. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.
Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. View further guidance on the submission of evidence.
Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.
The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.