Team praised on child abuse

Det Insp Tony Baxter (below) says spotting abuse signs is a complex issue.

Det Insp Tony Baxter (below) says spotting abuse signs is a complex issue.

  • by Elizabeth Broughton

A TOP police officer has said spotting the signs of a child sex offender is “complex” – as youth teams were praised for the work they have done to tackle the issue.

Lancashire’s Youth Offending team was one of seven visited by probation inspectors keen to see what good practices were being employed to root out and deal with perverts.

And despite criticism of some other authorities, Lancashire’s work is held up as shining example of good work in the 47-page report.

The document highlights how the county’s team has enabled a young sex offender to attend college with an “excellent risk management plan” as well as where the team have provided close support to an offender’s family.

Lancashire’s staff will now help present the report and County Coun Mark Perks, the cabinet member for young people, said he was “proud” the work had been cited as “good practice”.

It does criticise other authorities for missing the chance to intervene when offenders were younger, but Det Insp Tony Baxter, head of Blackpool’s public protection unit, said: “I don’t think you can generalise in spotting the signs of child sex offenders.

“From the experience we’ve had of dealing with people you can’t say they come from a specific background or social class, they come from all walks of life.”

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