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Agenda item

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

All Area Boards are being asked to draw attention to this vitally important subject.

 

Officer: Blair Keltie, Child Sexual Exploitation Manager

Minutes:

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Manager, Blair Keltie presented information on this vitally important subject.

CSE had a high profile nationally and locally, with the Police prioritising work in this area.

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Someone taking advantage of you sexually, for their own benefit. Through threats, bribes, violence, humiliation, or by telling you that they love you, they will have the power to get you to do sexual things for their own, or other people’s benefit or enjoyment (including: touching or kissing private parts, sex, taking sexual photos).

 

Background

Following events in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and elsewhere; in March this year, the Prime Minister stated that CSE was a National Threat and that child sexual abuse was a national Policing priority. Police forces must prioritise CSE and this is reflected in Wiltshire Police Priorities.

An idea of the problem nationally: 

·       88% increase in Police investigations since 2012 = 70K investigations nationally and no sign of slowing down.

·       In 2012 there was a watershed with the Savile revelations and it is estimated that 30,000 victims of non-recent cases would come forward.

·       Estimated 100m images of children being abused in circulation and 50K people viewing these online.

·       15 – 50% will go on to have contact offences.    

 

The sexual exploitation of children and young people is a form of sexual abuse. It is not new. What is new is the level of awareness of the extent and scale of the abuse and of the increasingly different ways in which perpetrators sexually exploit children and young people.

 

Grooming

Grooming refers to actions deliberately aimed at establishing an emotional connection and trust with a child or young person in order to increase the likelihood of them engaging in sexual behaviour or exploitation. Signs of Grooming include:

 

·       Regularly missing from home or school and staying out all night

·       Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn

·       Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for

·       Increase in mobile phone use or secretive use

·       Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol

·       Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults

·       A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends

·       Spending excessive amount of time online and becoming increasingly secretive about time spent online

·       Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending

·       Sexual health problems

 

There are a number of ways in which local authorities, police and other key partners can reduce the prevalence of CSE.

 

·       Prevent the abuse from happening;

·       Protect young people who are victims or at risk of sexual exploitation;

·       Prosecute offenders wherever possible;

·       Publicise this activity, including how people can report Child Sexual Exploitation.

 

Area Boards

The Area Boards are a way of working to bring local decision making back into the heart of the community. They are a formal part of Wiltshire Council that try to find solutions for local issues.

 

By working in partnership with local communities, the council could achieve so much more than it ever could on its own. Leading to better services, better communities and a better quality of life for everyone in Wiltshire. Councillors had a key role to play in this, and should not be afraid to raise these issues within the communities they represent.

 

Questions and Comments included:

·        Do you work in conjunction with the safe place leaflets which have come out? Does that include children? Answer – I have heard of that and will explore that option.

·       There were 3 secondary schools in the parish – do you liaise with schools and is there info available for other groups?  Answer: A touring drama called Chelsea’s choice was available to schools and did visit Laverstock schools last year. We are repeating that offer after autumn half term. I have visited many schools where I have briefed school staff. The Council had staff who worked with schools around PSHE and there were many resources available.

 

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