Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff joined Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin in calling on the Government to give a “cast iron guarantee” that West Yorkshire Police will have the resources it needs to protect victims of Child Sex Abuse and bring perpetrators to justice.
The MPs' intervention comes after 55 people were arrested in Batley, Dewsbury and Bradford in connection with non-recent child sex abuse.
During Home Office Questions in the House of Commons today, both MPs urged the Government to ensure police have the resources required to tackle what is a large and complex investigation.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “The Home Secretary, like me, and many others in North Kirklees will have been shocked and concerned to hear last week about 55 local arrests in relation to Child Sex Abuse.
“This vital investigation will put extra strain on the police and local authority whose resources are already stretched to breaking point.
“Can the Home Secretary give my constituents a cast iron guarantee that the police will have the resources they need to protect victims in the long term and short term and make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice – something that I’m sure the whole house would agree with.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in response: “There is a huge focus by this Government and by local police forces and others such as the NCA on child sexual exploitation and abuse.
“She’s raised this horrific case in Kirklees and I can give her an assurance that we want to make sure that all the resources that are necessary are available.
“I think the recent police settlement for this year will certainly help, but, also there is more to be done, including with the tech giants and those who groom our children online.”
Ms Brabin later added: “Victims of these horrendous crimes have shown incredible bravery in coming forward and we have a responsibility to ensure they are given the justice they deserve.”
Paula Sherriff also pressed the Home Secretary on this issue and followed up her Labour colleague Tracy Brabin’s question, asking exactly when resources will be put into Kirklees.
Speaking after the debate, Paula Sherriff MP said: “Those brave victims that have come forward and others need to know that they can have full confidence in the process and that the perpetrators of these abhorrent crimes will be brought to justice.
“In his response the Home Secretary’s referred to £30m draft police settlement for West Yorkshire Police. Of course any proposed investment is welcome, but against sustained cuts of over £140m since 2010, equating to some 2,000 police jobs – it’s not good enough. I need assurances that the necessary funding and resources will be provided and that no will be corners cut.
“I’ll keep fighting to make sure our police force has the resources it needs to keep us safe.”