A former police officer has been appointed to help protect vulnerable children at risk of abuse.
Stuart Piper has joined a team set up to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) around West Yorkshire.
He was appointed as safeguarding coordinator by police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, who made an extra £3m available to West Yorkshire Police last year to help tackle CSE, human trafficking and cyber crime.
Mr Piper was previously the safeguarding lead at the police’s City and Holbeck division in Leeds.
He said: “Protecting vulnerable children and young people is a vital part of everything we do. Instances of CSE have unfortunately increased nationwide.
“There is no room for complacency and preventing CSE is a top priority.”
Mr Burns-Williamson has also pledged £440,000 to raise awareness of CSE in schools.
He said: “CSE and sexual abuse are abhorrent crimes and I welcome the addition of Stuart to the team and all the knowledge he brings in dealing with CSE.
“His new role will add to the already strong team of people looking at how we can improve the way we deal with CSE here in West Yorkshire.”