Headlines: October 8th, 1998

A new UK-wide plan is being drawn up to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation, the Home Office has revealed.The plan will be based on successful partnerships inside Government, between justice, law enforcement agencies, social welfare, health and education will give a co-ordinated lead. Partnerships between central and local government and charity and voluntary organisations, will deliver effective services.

Home Office Minister Alun Michael said: “In the UK we have made child protection a priority. The Sex Offenders Act means that we have a register of sex offenders in the country and new extra-territorial powers to combat child sex abuse.

“We have now introduced a new Sex Offender Order through the Crime and Disorder Act. Giving the courts new powers to limit the activity of sex offenders.

“It does not end there. In recent weeks we have extended our laws on conspiracy to allow us to prosecute those who conspire here to make, sell or possess child pornography abroad where that is a crime in the other country.

“However, it is for Governments to take the lead and set the agenda for action. That is why the United Kingdom will have a national plan to combat this problem and will implement a new approach to dealing with child prostitutes. We will also take a fresh look at the links between offences abroad and offending in the UK as part of the major review of sexual offences on which we embark in July.”