A NATIONAL programme of specialist support and protection for children at risk of criminal or sexual exploitation is being welcomed by West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner.

The programme, launched this week by the Education Secretary, will ensure children most at risk of being targeted by gangs or violent crime will benefit from better support from specialists across education, health, social care, police and the voluntary sector.

PCC John Campion said “A holistic, joined up approach is the right way forward, to deal with some of the emerging and multifaceted challenges which police and other agencies face. We all have a part to play in protecting children, and I welcome the Government’s focus and investment, understanding the importance bringing agencies together to tackle the complexities behind with some of the most difficult crime types. I will continue to ensure, this is a priority here in West Mercia.”