WEST Oxfordshire police community support officer Chris Jones is to be congratulated for his innovative approach to engaging with young people, which has uncovered a number of cases of sexual abuse of children.

His video presentations, developed specifically for use in schools, to encourage children to think about issues like online bullying and and staying safe on the Internet, are getting results that even he had not expected.

That children who are being abused feel able to come forward and let police or their teachers know what is being done to them is testimony to the impact of PCSO Jones’s work, which drew on a simple observation that films engaged young people in the way that other approaches did not.

At a time when the Operation Bullfinch child abuse case in Oxford is still fresh in people’s minds and further sex abuse allegations surrounding a guesthouse in the city came to light this week, it is good to know that police officers and schools in West Oxfordshire are doing all they can to make children aware of the risks they face online and elsewhere and to offer them help when needed.

We hope that such simple but very valuable work is not affected by the funding cuts faced by Thames Valley Police.

Indeed a scheme that gets results like those achieved so far by PCSO Jones’s work should, we believe, be spread across the whole police region as a matter of urgency.