Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne has welcomed the conviction of Osmon Koroma and Max N’Gasa for their involvement in child sexual exploitation offences against 12 young girls in Littlehampton.
In a statement released, she said: “I want to send a clear and unequivocal message to those who seek to exploit our children and our most vulnerable: the people of Sussex will not tolerate your depravity and Sussex Police, with the help of the public, is getting better at finding you and bringing you to justice as they have shown today.
“Over the past four years I have scrutinised and encouraged Sussex Police to ensure that victims of exploitation, abuse and sexual assaults can feel as comfortable and as supported as possible talking to the police.
“To strengthen police capacity, I have funded a child sexual exploitation analyst to map hotspots for CSE to help target resources and public information campaigns and to share intelligence and best practice with other agencies.
“However, the police and partners still need to improve their understanding and overall response to CSE. Allegations and reports must be handled better with quicker information sharing and earlier intervention where appropriate. That is why I welcome the Serious Case Review that is being carried out by the Independent West Sussex Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
“I want to acknowledge the courage of the child victims who gave evidence and for their determination to reveal the extent of their exploitation. In this and other similar cases, young victims have had to face the trauma of a long trial, which is why I will continue to fund a specialist service to support young witnesses and victims through the daunting criminal justice process.
“The most important point I want to make is this: we can tackle child sexual exploitation but we do need people to talk about and report it.”
“If you think it is happening to you, your friends or family, please call the police or visit www.safespecesussex.org.uk/CSE for help and support. There is no need to be embarrassed or feel ashamed if you have been exploited.”
Readers can find more details of the conviction here.
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