On 14th March 2016 Lord Lexden asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that the police, social services and other agencies work together effectively to protect vulnerable children from sexual abuse.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I declare my interests in relation to safeguarding for the Church of England, in which connection I shall be at the Goddard inquiry on Wednesday morning. Will the Minister agree that prevention must stay at the top of the agenda for all agencies, both statutory and voluntary, in responding to the crime of child sexual abuse and, in so doing, recognise that potentially every single child is vulnerable and that grooming must be one area of concern?
Lord Bates: That is absolutely right, and it is why we have identified in the National Policing Plan that child sexual abuse is a national threat and should be regarded as a priority. That is so for the Government and, in my view, it should be the same for local government and all organisations and groups within our society until we tackle this issue at cause.