Too little, too late from the Government on tackling child abuse

Hull North MP and Shadow Home Office Minister Diana Johnson has responded to measures announced by the Prime Minister today on the reporting "wilful neglect" of children.

Diana Johnson MP said: "The Government is doing too little, too late with changes that just tinker round the edges of the child abuse problem. Due to changes that this Coalition has made, against a background of their massive cuts to the police and local authorities, far fewer crimes are now being investigated. Last year, a child abuse offence report to the police was a third less likely to get to the Crown Prosecution Service than was the case in 2010.

"We need the police to have powers to go after the networks that exploit children and to create a specific criminal offence of child exploitation that recognises the changing nature of the problem. We also need better sex and relationships education in schools to help young people better protect themselves against potential abusers. When I proposed these measures in Parliament, the Tories and Lib Dems voted me down.

"With this Government also making changes that allow more of those who present a danger to children to work with young people, this Coalition has failed to protect children from those who would exploit and harm them."