Third of councils ‘neglect child protection’

Children are at risk because local authorities are failing to safeguard them from sexual abuse, experts will warn this week.

New research, to be presented at a national child protection conference on Tuesday, reveals that most parts of the country do not have sufficient plans or resources to protect children. Almost a third of local authorities have no plans to protect children from exploitation and investigate abusers; while less than a quarter are proactive in disrupting and prosecuting offenders.

The warning comes in the interim report of a two-year study by the International Centre for the Study of Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Young People at Bedfordshire University.