Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said:
“This is a welcome commitment to improving support for victims of child sexual abuse in the capital. These crimes can cause lifelong damage without the right kind of help being available. There needs to improvements in the way extremely vulnerable children are assisted to move on from their ordeals. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) last week raised serious concerns about the Met’s handling of child sexual abuse investigations. Despite the efforts of many dedicated individual officers, there was widespread systemic failures. It was clear from the HMIC’s report that the Met had not yet got to grips with the way it tackles child abuse and sexual exploitation. I commend the Mayor for the additional funding and practical steps that he has announced to help victims.
“I’ve been a long-term advocate of a Barnahus or Children’s House approach being adopted in London and throughout the country. The Mayor has also supported a pilot of these facilities that have the potential to improve access to therapy for victims and reduce their trauma. By placing everything under one roof, including forensic interview and medical examination, they’ve also been shown in other countries to increase the rate at which children experiencing abuse are identified, and offenders successfully prosecuted.”