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After two successful years tackling crime against vulnerable people, Sentinel continues with a new year-long campaign push.

Launched by West Midlands Police in July 2013, Sentinel has seen officers and staff from local policing units and departments focusing on key vulnerable crime types, including female genital mutilation, child sexual exploitation and honour based violence.

So far Sentinel has seen all front line officers trained about vulnerability issues, closer integration with partners and many operations and initiatives to raise awareness and reduce offences.

The next twelve months will see a slightly different format, with a focus on four themes over four quarters:

  • November – January - domestic abuse
  • February – April – modern day slavery
  • May – July – child sexual exploitation
  • August - October – child abuse

Detective Superintendent Angie Whitaker explained the rationale behind the new format.

She said: “There is so much that the previous two Sentinel’s have embedded into normal business and West Midlands Police is in a much stronger position now than it was two years ago. But there’s still lots more that we can do to support vulnerable people.

“We have a lot of work to do to tackle domestic abuse offenders, with more and more people coming forward asking for us to help end the cycle of abuse. Modern day slavery still remains a complicated subject area and one that we know we need to learn more about.

“We are so much further forward in tackling child sexual exploitation now than we were two years ago but that does not mean we can take our eye off the ball, so we will still working hard to ‘listen to the voice of the child’.”