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National Crime Agency

Volume 558: debated on Monday 11 February 2013

Excellent progress is being made in establishing the new National Crime Agency which will be an effective operational crime fighting agency, under the leadership of Director General Keith Bristow.

Operational activity is already taking place under the NCA’s four commands, building on the previous work of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. I am pleased to say in particular that the shadow border policing command is doing work to improve collaboration at ports.

My constituents are daily hearing truly shocking evidence of child sexual exploitation emerging in the ongoing trial of nine Oxford men at the Old Bailey. I know that the Home Secretary is unable to comment on the case, but can she tell me how she intends to work with Keith Bristow, Peter Davies and others at the NCA to strengthen our national policing response to child sexual exploitation in our communities?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this difficult issue, which I know will be a concern to Members on both sides of the House. We all agree that child sexual exploitation is an abhorrent form of abuse, and I know that the police are committed to tackling that crime in all its forms. An increasing number of cases are being brought before the courts, which reflects the increasing attention that the police are paying to this issue.

Work is being carried out to co-ordinate a response under the organised crime strategy and the child sexual exploitation action plan, which of course includes the vital work of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. I referred to the shadow border policing command in my previous response: it has been working with CEOP so that, for the first time, the team has been able to target high-risk outbound flights to identify and interdict sex offenders.