Alison Hernandez has written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to support his announcement that £21m of extra Government funding would be invested over the next year and a half to bolster the response of law enforcement agencies.
A further £13m will be spent on helping victims of child sexual exploitation.
Internet companies have been told they must go further than ever before to prevent the circulation of child abuse images and videos.
Alison said she wholeheartedly supported the extra investment and attention in this area and had been alarmed by a rise in sickening sexual crimes involving children.
The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse estimates that 15% of girls and 5% of boys experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 16.
In Devon and Cornwall the number of victims of sexual offences under the age of 18 has more than doubled in five years from 994 in 2013/14 to 2,402 in 2017/18. There were 282 reports of crimes involving child sexual exploitation in the 12 months to March this year.
“I am delighted to hear that there is some serious money, time and attention being spent on tackling these horrendous crimes and providing the victims with the support they need,” Alison said.
“I’ve talked to the dedicated officers who do such difficult work in this area and to victims, and it’s clear that child sexual exploitation ruins lives. The trauma caused by crimes that are being committed in Britain today will echo through generations, and the surge in the scale of the number of offences is truly alarming.”
Alison said that although current funding for victims in Devon and Cornwall was welcome, it was not sufficient to deal with the scale of the problem.
“I am clear that every pound spent on helping the victims of these crimes is a pound well spent,” she said.
“If we can help people to recover, and at the same time let offenders know that they will be caught and dealt with, then I am confident that we can start to make some real progress in tackling this issue.”
The Home Secretary said on Monday (Sept 3) that more child sexual abuse images were being uploaded and shared online than ever before.
There has been a 700% increase in the number of referrals to the National Crime Agency for this type of content since 2013. Content is also getting more graphic, with the abuse of babies and children under 10 being regularly documented.
The National Crime Agency estimates that around 80,000 people in the UK that present some kind of sexual threat to children online.
Mr Javid said that as well as the extra funding for police forces the Government had invested £13 million through the Trusted Relationships Fund, for projects to build children’s resilience to these types of crimes.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall set up and supports a Victim Care Network which helps those affected by crime access support services. Victims can contact the network on 01392 475900 or online at www.victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk.