POLICE chief Clive Grunshaw has welcomed the launch of a £6 million drive to protect vulnerable youngsters in Burnley.

As revealed in the Lancashire Telegraph last month, an early intervention team is set to be launched in East Lancashire after a surge in abuse referrals.

Nearly 30 social workers, with the support of Lancashire Police, will work in pilot projects in Burnley and Preston to safeguard young victims of family break-ups, steer would-be young offenders away from criminality and prevent children running away.

Mr Grunshaw, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Intervening in the lives of our most vulnerable residents and families and providing them with the help they need is vital if we are to avoid greater issues down the line.

“It is something my office recognised as being of significant importance when we applied for, and gained ‘Pioneering Place’ status from the Early Intervention Foundation.”