November 13, 2012 5:49 PM

Liberal Democrat candidate for Gloucestershire's new Police and Crime Commissioner Alistair Cameron backs Barnardo's Cut Them Free campaign

"If elected, I will prioritise tackling child sexual exploitation, support young victims and facilitate prosecutions," said Liberal Democrat candidate for Gloucestershire's new Police and Crime Commissioner Alistair Cameron, today, announcing his support for UK children's charity Barnardo's Cut Them Free campaign.

Pledging to work with Gloucestershire Police to help make child sexual exploitation in Gloucestershire a thing of the past, Alistair Cameron said:

"I support Barnardo's campaign to cut children free from sexual exploitation and, if elected, I will take the necessary steps to tackle this abuse within my local Police and Crime Plan."

"There is no place in our community for this vile form of abuse. Police have an important role to play in exposing the callous criminals who target and manipulate children for sex.

"I welcome the recent appointment of a trafficking and grooming coordinator within Gloucestershire Police. If elected, I will ensure this work is given the priority and resources it deserves."

Barnardo's have developed an anti-child sexual exploitation checklist of seven 'achievable asks' for police forces in England and Wales, highlighting key improvements that would help identify and support victims who have been abused, protect young people at risk and facilitate the prosecution of abusers.

Welcoming Alistair Cameron's support, Barnardo's South West Director, Yvonne Rodgers said:

"Children in Gloucestershire are being groomed, trapped and exploited for sex. This appalling abuse must stop. By making this commitment it is clear Alistair Cameron appreciates the seriousness of the issue and understands that tackling this serious crime head-on will help make the Gloucestershire safer for all our children."