Durham is one of the safest counties in England. The Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership (DSCP) are looking to engage with all communities to help prevent children and young people becoming victim of child sexual exploitation. You can form a crucial part of the fight against CSE and help be the eyes and ears of the community, providing potentially important information to the Police.
This information aims to help you identify signs of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and let you know what you can do to help prevent CSE. We believe that the local community and businesses can play a positive role in preventing child sexual exploitation. You have the power to help prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking.
Child Sexual Exploitation can happen to anyone (under the age of 18) who is persuaded, bullied or forced into having sex or sexual activity such as taking and sharing naked photos of themselves.
This can be in return for things like:
- Mobile Phones and other gifts
Young people can be groomed and sexually exploited anywhere where the perpetrator sees an opportunity to connect with a young person, this could be:
Parks, Shopping Centres, Taxi Ranks, Bus Stops, Pubs, Bars, Clubs,
Restaurants, Takeaways, Gyms, Leisure Centres, Hotels, Hostels, and Online
Children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation are also vulnerable to trafficking across locations within the UK for the purposes of exploitation. Trafficking applies irrespective of any distance travelled, and can be movements within the same city, town, village or street.
- Young people who appear to be in a vulnerable state, this could be due to alcohol or drugs
- Young people who are accompanied by a man or woman when in this state and don’t know where they are going
- Beds or mattresses in buildings or areas that are unexpected (for example, in the back of a takeaway outlet)
- Young people being taken / collected from hotels / B&Bs / house parties
- Young people in other locations which causes you concern
- Anything – trust your gut instinct, if it makes you concerned that a child or young person may be at risk, report it
If you see, or hear something in your area that causes you concern, report it to the police.
We know some offenders and perpetrators use taxis, hotels, takeaway outlets and licence premises as part of their criminal behaviour. We don’t want you to be unknowingly involved in any crime or abuse, if you own or work in a business and you see something, then say something - call 101
- Make notes about the information you know
- Locations and addresses of concerns
- Descriptions of people
- Car registration plates, makes and models of vehicles
- Description of concerning activity
- Information which may be ‘rumour’
- Call the Police non-emergency number 101 to report your concerns about possible sexual exploitation
- Report to Police through Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
- Text information anonymously to ‘Say Something’ 166 000
We have developed a child sexual exploitation action plan to detect, prevent and disrupt all forms of CSE including online abuse as well as face to face offences. The child sexual exploitation procedures focus on early identification and prevention meaning we identify children at risk and work to reduce this risk, rather than waiting for harm to occur before we act.
Some of things the Partnership does include
- developing and implementing CSE disruption tactics
- train thousands of police and other staff in proactive training such as Intervene to Protect a Child
- audit services that respond to CSE and missing children incidents to make sure they are working to set protocols
- created ‘ERASE’ (Educate and Raise Awareness of Sexual Exploitation) website www.eraseabuse.org
- offer our training and awareness to those services not traditionally associated with safeguarding
- develop stronger relationships with communities through Area Action Partnerships (AAPs), raising awareness of CSE and how to report concerns or intelligence of CSE
- actively engage with young people within identified vulnerable groups
- work closely with businesses through the Licensing Dept of Durham County Council
This referral should be used where there is evidence or intelligence to suggest that a child is being or
has been ‘exploited’.
‘Child Exploitation’ includes:
- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
- Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
- County Lines
- Children involved or living within or affected by Organised Crime Groups
- Child Trafficking and other forms of Modern Day Slavery
County Durham has a dedicated multi-agency ERASE Team developed to improve our response to CSE. To intervene early with young people at risk of CSE or who go missing from care or their own homes and ensure a proportionate response. All CSE intelligence will be shared with operational meetings to plan responses and disruption to offenders.