South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings attended the Barnsley Safeguarding Awareness Week launch on Monday 3 July at Barnsley Town Hall.

The keynote speaker was Her Honour Judge Sarah Wright, who had been the judge in some of the non-recent child sexual exploitation trials at Sheffield Crown Court.

Judge Wright referred to that in her talk about ‘Ensuring Access to Justice for Vulnerable and Intimidated Children and Adults’. She explained how the whole judicial process has changed quite dramatically in the last few years in the more sensitive way in which vulnerable victims, defendants and witnesses are treated.

Dr Billings said: “The Barnsley Safeguarding Awareness Week has an impressive list of activities throughout the week. This is such an important issue. Perhaps we need to replicate it across all the districts.

The three young people from Darton School who spoke were very impressive. Minnie Stainrod spoke about the need for strong role models for young people if they were to resist peer pressure. Harry Harvey made a plea that young people should be taken seriously and treated as equals. Lucy Greatorex opined on the dangers inherent in modern technology. The young people spoke with confidence and authority.”