Thousands of abused children left to fend for themselves

Public Awareness Advisory Group | 10 September 2015

The Public Awareness Advisory Group (PAAG) of the Scottish Child Protection Committee Chair’s Forum – responds to the press release ‘NSPCC: Thousands of abused children ‘left to fend for themselves’.  The Public Awareness Advisory Sub Group (PAAG) is a sub-group of the Scottish Child Protection Committee Chairs Forum (SCPCCF) and aims to promote public awareness of child protection issues nationally on behalf of the Forum.

Read the NSPCC Scotland story 

PAAG Statement 

Zero tolerance of abuse and sexual exploitation spelt out at special summit

Peth & Kinross Council | 09 September 2015

Zero tolerance of child sexual exploitation in Perth and Kinross – that was the clear message from leaders across the public and voluntary sectors locally at a special event held on Tuesday 8 September 2015.

Elected members and senior officers from Perth & Kinross Council, Police Scotland, NHS Tayside and partner organisations gathered at Perth Concert Hall for the leadership summit, which follows on from Scotland's National Action Plan to Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation published by the Scottish Government in November 2014 and a national strategic event in February 2015.

The summit further reflects the Council and its partners' commitment to creating a hostile environment towards child sexual exploitation (CSE) as outlined earlier this year in response to an enquiry into CSE in Rotherham. 

The aim of the event is to raise awareness at a strategic level of the issues of child sexual abuse and exploitation and to put in place measures to prevent this locally. 

Chief Executive of Perth & Kinross Council and Chair of the Children, Young People and Families Partnership, Bernadette Malone opened the event with a keynote speech focussing on the collective responsibilities of all organisations to prevent abuse and protect children and young people. She also introduced a film emphasizing the views of young people with experience of CSE in Greater Manchester.

Council Leader Councillor Ian Miller reminded delegates about the major role all elected members have in making sure that the systematic failures reported in Rotherham are not repeated in Perth and Kinross. He stated, “This event has given some powerful and hard-hitting messages about the long-term impact of child sexual exploitation on victims and will galvanise all our partner organisations in creating a hostile environment for this terrible form of abuse.” 

Speaking from personal experience as a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect, acclaimed poet and author Jo McFarlane gave a moving and compelling recital of some of her work. Her specially commissioned poem, “It’s everyone’s job to care” demonstrates persuasively the role of all adults in taking notice of the signs that a child or young person may be experiencing abuse or neglect.

The second keynote speaker, Nazir Afzal OBE, was until recently the Chief Crown Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for North West England. The first Muslim to be appointed to such a position, Mr Afzal spoke about his instrumental role and the challenges in prosecuting cases of CSE. Bernadette Malone said: "In Perth and Kinross we have a wealth of experience in successful partnership working and this needs to be at its most effective in our joint work to protect vulnerable people.

The summig brought together all the key partners to heighten awareness on what we can collectively do to create an environment in Perth and Kinross where CSE is never tolerated." Also as part of the Council's wider remit for protecting people from abuse and neglect, awareness-raising information about CSE has gone live on the Council website at