National CSE Awareness Day – the police role

I am Detective Sergeant Amanda Foreman and I work in the Serious Crime Team within CID for Huntingdonshire. I am also the point of contact for Huntingdonshire policing Team for Child Sexual Exploitation.
Although the force has a dedicated CSE Team, I work with local policing teams and partner agencies across Huntingdonshire to ensure we identify CSE in our district and put the relevant measures and safeguarding in place for victims whilst actively working with the CSE team to make sure perpetrators who prey on vulnerable young people are dealt with appropriately.
For Huntingdonshire local policing it is vital that officers are aware of the signs of CSE and flag up concerns and utilise our systems to share information with officers and partner agencies to provide the necessary support to victims as well as taking positive action against perpetrators.
I work alongside PCSO Clare Darbyshire who has done some excellent work educating schools with topics such as cybercrime, which can be linked to CSE. Clare has developed a presentation that has been sent to some of our partner agencies which has been adapted to their areas of business for their frontline staff, for example Luminus Housing, the largest housing provider in Huntingdonshire.
Through my policing career I have worked in various roles and have worked with schools and young people and I am passionate about keeping young people safe and ensuring that perpetrators of these hideous, manipulative offences are identified and brought to justice.
There are many indicators that someone is being exploited, such as having lots of new items which are beyond their financial means, being secretive with their phone and computer, coming home and going out late at night, staying out overnight without permission, using alcohol or other substances and changes in appearance. This doesn’t always mean it’s CSE and can just be teenage behaviour but it’s important for parents to be aware of the signs.
Child sexual exploitation is about a young person being given something, anything from affection to money, clothes, food, phones, alcohol and drugs. Initially these gifts are ‘free’. This makes the young person who receives them feel valued and opens them up to becoming sexually active with the giver.
Barnardo’s has broken exploitation down into three different categories:
  1. Inappropriate relationship – one perpetrator who has inappropriate power of control over a young person
  2. ‘Boyfriend’ model and peer exploitation – perpetrator befriends/grooms child into a relationship them forces/coercers them to have sex with friends/associates
  3. Organised/networked sexual exploitation or trafficking – Child passed through networks where they are forced or coerced into sexual activity with multiple men
Today, we will be promoting the messages of National CSE Awareness Day across the county. Officers from Huntingdonshire and Special colleagues will be engaging with schools and young people to promote education and offer advice and support.

We will also be re-educating and engaging with local businesses on CSE on what to look out for and how to report it.  

There have been cases of CSE within Huntingdonshire and there are vulnerable young people within our communities who don’t always see the dangers so it is vital that we take positive action and promote awareness to keep our children safe. It’s really important that parents / carers and the community as a whole are aware of CSE and what to look out for and importantly to report any concerns.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

FACT: Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation.

FACT: The safeguarding of our children is everybody’s business.

FACT: Any child can be sexually exploited no matter what culture, ethnicity, religion, whether a boy or a girl from any background.

The National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children and children forming inappropriate sexual relationships with their peers.

 

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