South East Wales

Child sex abuse warning film financed by proceeds of crime

Wayne Baker
Image caption The film was financed by money seized from convicted sex offender Wayne Baker

A film warning of the dangers of child sexual exploitation has been made by young people using money confiscated from a convicted sex offender.

Wayne Baker from Ebbw Vale was jailed for 11 years in 2010 after admitting 22 offences including child prostitution.

Money seized under proceeds of crime legislation has financed Thistle, a short film to be distributed to schools and youth groups around Wales.

Delegates at conference about the issue will also be shown the film.

The event has been organised by five Safeguarding Children Boards in south east Wales - covering Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Monmouthshire and Torfaen.

More than 150 people are expected to attend the conference in Newport, including professionals from local and central government, social care, education, health, police and the voluntary sector.

Safeguarding Board co-ordinator Phil Diamond said: "I am delighted that so many delegates are able to attend this important event.

"The conference provides an opportunity for different organisations and agencies to come together to share experiences and explore methods of working together more effectively to keep children safe from sexual exploitation."

The keynote speaker will be Keith Towler, the children's commissioner for Wales.

"Child sexual exploitation is a complex and particularly hidden form of abuse; it silences children and young people, making them feel powerless," he said.

"I hope this conference will enable those working for and with children in Gwent to identify the signs of this abuse so that they can protect those most at risk of harm and provide this vulnerable group with the level of support they need to find their voice again."

Image caption Professionals tackling child sex abuse are urged to share ideas and learn from each other

The conference will include a preview of Thistle, a short film which looks at the dangers of sexual exploitation, devised and created by young residents from Ebbw Vale.

The film will be distributed to schools and youth groups across Wales with accompanying notes for teachers and youth workers.

The project was paid for with money confiscated from Ebbw Vale businessman Wayne Baker under proceeds of crime legislation.

He was jailed for 11 years in February 2010, after he admitted 22 sexual offences against young girls, including controlling child prostitution.

Baker was ordered to pay more than £135,000 from his assets or face another three years in jail.

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