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Keighley's MP welcomes the Government’s backing to tackle child sex abuse
2:50pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
Keighley’s MP has welcomed Government backing for a campaign led by backbenchers to introduce powers to prevent the sexual abuse of children.
Kris Hopkins had supported a successful amendment tabled for the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which would enable courts to issue a ‘child sexual abuse prevention order’.
Under the terms of the amendment, the order could be issued even where a defendant has not been convicted of anything, providing there was evidence of danger posed to children.
The plans were introduced by Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood, who argued they are no different in nature from other orders designed to protect children, such as an injunction or a restraining order.
Home Office minister Damian Green has confirmed the Government will take forward key components of Ms Blackwood’s proposals.
Mr Hopkins said: “I’ve worked closely for some time with my Conservative colleague, Nicola Blackwood, on developing new measures to prevent the sexual abuse of children, and was very pleased to co-sponsor her amendment, which has now won Government support.
“The new orders will be an additional safeguard to protect children from suspected abusers, even if there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute them in a criminal court.”
He added: “For my part, I’m due to meet with Home Office officials to discuss plans drawn up with Keighley police to give officers new powers to tackle child sexual exploitation in hotels and bed-and-breakfasts.
“These would include a new police power to require specific establishments to collect the details of identity and proof of relationship of any persons under the age of 18 who book into the accommodation, and pass this information immediately to officers.
“The premises would be identified by past intelligence or conviction, or present intelligence or investigation.
“Authorisation would be given by a county court judge in chambers. It would not be a blanket request –it would be about specific accommodation based on knowledge.
“The Home Secretary has already indicated her willingness to include these new powers in the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill, which continues its passage through Parliament.”
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