Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Keighley's MP backs tough restrictions on suspected sex offenders
A campaign to enable police to impose tough restrictions on suspected sex offenders has received strong backing from Keighley’s MP.
Kris Hopkins praised the recommendations contained in ‘Childhood Lost’, which says officers need powers to restrict some people even if they have not been convicted of grooming and sexual exploitation.
Mr Hopkins said: “I believe the changes being proposed will go a long way to further ratcheting up the pressure on the sick individuals involved.”
Childhood Lost is being led by a group of charities and Oxford MP Nicola Blackwood. She is tabling an amendment to planned legislation called the Anti-social Behaviour Bill in order to create Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Orders.
Police could seek to impose one of these orders using hearsay evidence and other intelligence about a suspect.
The court would then ban the suspect from particular activities, such as having children in their car or entering areas where they are believed to be targeting youngsters.
Mr Hopkins added: “My Conservative colleague, Nicola Blackwood, has my full support.
“I also continue to work with the Home Office and Keighley police to crack down on hotels, bed and breakfasts and guests houses where acts of abuse are being carried out, often with the full knowledge of proprietors.
“I recently had a meeting with the Home Secretary, and her officials are now working with me on an amendment to the Anti-social Behaviour Bill, with a view to giving police the powers they need to take on these criminals and those within the hospitality industry who assist them.”
MP Philip Davies, whose constituency covers Cullingworth and Denholme, said he sympathised with Childhood Lost’s objectives but would want to listen to the debate before deciding how to vote.
He added: “What police have said to me is if they suspect someone of sex grooming, they can impose a protection order to stop them having contact with a particular child, but they can’t have a catch-all order that covers any child.”
On the same day as the MPs’ comments were made, Keighley’s Asda supermarket hosted the final instalment of a roadshow that formed part of the ‘Know the signs’ child sexual exploitation campaign.
Police officers, members of Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE) and Children’s Society representatives were outside Asda on Tuesday. Backed by a big screen video presentation, they distributed leaflets and spoke to the public about how to identify and respond to this crime.
Aysha Chetwood, Bradford district parent support worker for PACE, said: “Parents are the best people to safeguard their own children.
“I think child sexual exploitation is prevalent in every community, but both Keighley and Bradford are working very hard to tackle this issue.”
Comments are closed on this article.