Speaking at a debate today in the Assembly on child sexual exploitation, Ulster Unionist Culture, Arts and Leisure Spokesperson Michael McGimpsey stressed that partnership was key to tackling child sexual exploitation in Northern Ireland.
Following his speech during the debate today Mr McGimpsey said, “The recent revelations of child sexual exploitation in Northern Ireland have been truly shocking. It is a criminal justice issue, and first and foremost, for the police and courts to protect our children and vulnerable adults. It is a matter of apprehending people, taking them to court and, as necessary, putting them behind bars and on the sex offender register.”
“The safety of our children, young people and vulnerable adults is our shared responsibility. Any measure that is put in place must be in partnership across all departments, other Governments in the UK and cross-border co-operation with Government in Dublin. As we have been shown time and again, criminals of this nature do not see the border as an obstacle. Sharing resources is the key to pursuing those responsible in a robust manner.”
In conclusion Mr Mcgimpsey said, “Vigilance and good practice from all of us on the Culture, Arts and Leisure committee will allow us to respond to this issue to the best of our ability.”