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Police Commissioners launch Child Protection Strategy

Embargoed 5 September 2011

Police Commissioners launch Child Protection Strategy

Police Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand have launched a Child Protection Strategy in response to the continued appalling rate of child abuse. The launch of the Strategy coincides with Child Protection Week (4-11 September 2011).

Jon White, CEO of ANZPAA, the agency that provides strategic and policy advice to Police Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand said; "Police Commissioners acknowledge that child abuse, in all its forms, is an insidious crime that is a black mark on our society and which often leads to long term emotional and psychological difficulties for its victims."

The Child Protection Strategy provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated framework that integrates and builds upon existing child protection strategies across Australia and New Zealand.

"Police are often first responders to reports of child physical and sexual abuse and know the great harm which results. However, it is people in the community speaking up, who can offer the best protection for children," said Mr White.

The aim of this Strategy is to further:

* promote early intervention and prevention

* increase responsiveness to victims and reports of child abuse

* build consistency in the investigation of child abuse

* establish and enhance standards and principles of best practice

* support and promote a whole-of-community approach

* develop appropriate responses to Indigenous communities and culturally and linguistically diverse and emerging communities.

To support Child Protection Week, and reinforce the message that every child has a right to a safe and happy environment, police jurisdictions will undertake a range of both operational and awareness raising activities. Police are encouraging people to report any abuse without delay.

For more information regarding the range of activities Australian and New Zealand police will participate in as part of Child Protection Week and for a copy of the Australia and New Zealand Policing Strategy to Reduce the Physical and Sexual Abuse of Children please go to www.anzpaa.org.au.

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