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Hopkins welcomes new powers to tackle child sex abuse
Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins has welcomed the Government’s agreement to introduce new powers to prevent the sexual abuse of children.
He was speaking after ministers supported an amendment put forward by Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood, co-sponsored by Mr Hopkins, to enable courts to issue a ‘child sexual abuse prevention order.’ The former Bradford Council leader, who last week was appointed Minister for Housing in the Government reshuffle, also revealed that he will shortly be meeting with Home Office officials to discuss giving the police additional powers to tackle child sexual exploitation in hotels and bed-and-breakfasts.
Mr Hopkins said: “I have 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.
“As a result, courts will be able to issue an order – similar to an injunction or restraining order in a family court – against an individual thought to pose a danger to a minor. “The new orders will be an additional safeguard to protect children from suspected child abusers, even if there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute them in a criminal court. “For my part, I am due to meet with Home Office officials in the coming days 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. I look forward to a positive outcome to these talks and a set of effective measures being agreed.”
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