The exploitation of children is an appalling act committed by the worst kind of criminals. Ensuring the safety of vulnerable children is one of the most important jobs councils do and there is no room for complacency when it comes to protecting children. All local areas must investigate the extent of the problem locally and develop appropriate and effective responses.
Responding to claims that local authorities are reducing their budgets for violence against women services, Councillor Ann Lucas, the Local Government Association's spokeswoman on domestic violence, said: "There is no place in society for violence against women and girls and no local politician or professional takes decisions on reducing these services lightly..."
Councils will now be able to gauge their residents' perception of their local area, crime and community cohesion and compare satisfaction rates directly with other local authorities, thanks to new guidance being issued today.