ESCB Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Bulletin - October 2016


Welcome to the October 2016 edition of the CSE Bulletin

Essex CSE Information

Clare Livens

Clare Livens Blog

Clare Livens, Child Exploitation Manager updates us on recent work around CSE over the last few months, including the Safer Seafront Campaign and current developments, like the CSE Schools Project. Find out more here

Children and Young People’s CSE Update

"It’s nice to have someone working with you who is not too formal, not asking questions all the time, just lets you be you. It feels like you can talk to them more"

Lucy Stovell, Community Engagement Officer at the Involvement Team, in ECC Family Operations tells us more about the peer delivered group work and 1-2-1 support their team provides to young people, who are vulnerable to CSE and / or going missing. 

Some of the focus of this work is about understanding what young people believe works in supporting them. Young people's feedback is varied; but a number have indicated how they have become engaged in this work: 

"I don't just want to talk about it all the time; it’s good to do other things"

"Don't patronise young people, I might have messed up but I'm not stupid"

Alison’s Story

A young person in Essex shares her experiences of child sexual exploitation with the Involvement Team (ECC Family Operations), read her story here

Essex Police Update

Operations Centre Triage Team

Essex Police has implemented a new Public Protection centralised Operations Centre Triage Team. Within this, is incorporated the roles and functions of the previously known ‘Child Sexual Exploitation Triage Team’, which will be the primary point of contact for Public Protection related referrals from partner agencies.

The Triage Team is subdivided into a Child and Adult Triage Teams, supported by Missing Person Liaison Officers (MPLOs), Hate Crime Officers (HCOs) and an Intelligence Support Team. The Child Triage Team will manage all child abuse (including online) and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) referrals.  The Adult Triage Team will manage all vulnerable adult referrals.

How to contact the Triage Team (Child or Adult)

Emergency situation:

If there is an immediate threat to life or safety, Essex Police should be contacted on 999.

Urgent response to a referral is required – no immediate threat to life or safety:

Between the hours of 08:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday:

Contact the Triage Team directly by telephone: 101, ext. 180022 or 180043.

For urgent cases a verbal referral will initially be accepted however it is requested that the original referral be supported by a written referral, as soon as the urgency of the situation has been reduced.

Outside of the above hours:

Contact the relevant Geographical Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) via the Essex Police Force Control room.  There are now 6 CAIT: Colchester – Chelmsford – Basildon – Southend – Grays & Harlow.

Non-Urgent response to a referral required:

It is requested that the referral be in writing.

Email the Triage Team at

General Update Enquiries: 

Where there is or has been a police investigation relating to the specific matter in which an update is required then contact should be made directly with the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the investigation.

Essex Police Awards

Essex Police are also proud to announce that, at the recent Essex Police Awards event, D/S Louise Wilson (Missing Persons) was awarded runner up for the George Cook award in recognition of outstanding commitment to public service and was also nominated for police officer of the year award, in recognition of service and commitment to the people of Essex.  


In the July Bulletin we highlighted the important role that the MPLOs play and provided the names and contact details for them. These roles are success stories, as MPLOs are continuously forging excellent working relationships with children’s home staff and the children themselves. MPLOs across the county have actually located missing children by building trusting professional relationships with the children themselves, contacting them by mobile and meeting up with them to ensure their safe return. 

Why Young People go missing in Essex – Learning from Missing Chats

Recent analysis of Missing Chats (independent missing return interviews) offers some insight into the reasons why young people go missing in Essex. You can read about the findings from the MISSING training presentation here, including contact details for further information. 

The Children’s Society Update

CARE (Children at Risk of Exploitation)

CARE recently welcomed in their new CSE project worker. Rosie Spindler will be working with all young people aged 11-24 at risk of CSE; delivering both 1:1 and group work.

Boys and Young Men Service

An organisation called LEAP has recently been commissioned to co-deliver on group work for boys and young men in Heybridge. This will cover topics that the boys and young men have raised themselves that they would like to discuss, including conflict resolution, healthy relationships, gender and identity.

The 1:1 work being done with boys and young men in Essex has highlighted that a lot of the issues and needs for them are around drugs (plugging) and gang association. The majority of those worked with are White British, aged 15-16 years old and are being referred by the police and known to youth offending. This highlights gaps in BME communities, LGBTQ young people and those who are being exploited through online & social media whilst exploring their sexuality, so over the next year, CARE will focus on better identifying and support those that are currently not reached. 

Gavin McKenna has now left the CARE team, which is currently recruiting for a new Boys and Young Men worker. Interested or know someone who is? Why not apply by visiting The Children’s Society’s website. In the meantime, Nutoyah Lewis from the London team, will be working with CARE for two days a week to help with capacity.

CARE continues to receive a high level of referrals. Although the team aim to respond to enquiries within two weeks, this has not always been possible, so please contact CARE on 01245 493311 if you are yet to receive a response.

‘Forget if it’s a boy or girl, look for the warning signs!’

The BLAST Project, one of the UK’s largest service’s dedicated to tackling male child sexual exploitation (CSE), has reported a 32 per cent increase in the number of boys being identified and referred for support. CSE in Boys and Young Men is massively hidden and often overshadowed by headlines about grooming gangs targeting young girls.

Many misinterpret the warning signs as being associated with drugs, crime and anti-social behaviour, but these signs, along with unknown whereabouts, secretive behaviour, unaccounted for gifts and associations with people of concern are clear indicators of potential sexual exploitation.

It could be a boy who perhaps has an older boyfriend or older girlfriend, invited to a party or it could be that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Regardless of the situation CARE are challenging people by saying, ‘forget if it’s a boy or girl, look for the warning signs!’

‘I Didn’t Know’ Campaign – Double Award Win


Following a successful launch in March, the ‘I Didn’t Know’ CSE Campaign has been given recognition with TWO recent award wins. The campaign, which was a collaboration between Essex Police, Southend, Essex and Thurrock Safeguarding Children Boards, won the Gold Award for the Best Public Sector Campaign at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Awards. Judges felt it was a well-planned and sensitively delivered campaign that brought this important subject to targeted audiences, which managed to challenge assumptions in a way that connected with a range of different people.

It also won the Partnership Working category at Essex County Council’s You Make the Difference in Essex Awards, which recognises inspirational individuals and teams from across the organisation. Watch the Campaign Team for Child Exploitation video.

Essex SARC and Essex Victim’s Gateway

These organisations have really helpful websites. The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Essex SARC) offers a range of services to men, women and children who have been a victim of rape or sexual assault; while the Essex Victims’ Gateway provides information and advice on what to do and how to get help if you have been a victim of crime in Essex, Southend or Thurrock. 

There have been some issues raised within the North of Essex in terms of accessing the SARC in Brentwood (Oakwood Place). However, using the Ipswich SARC remains an option where victims feel more comfortable or it is more convenient.  Clearly it is preferable for victims to use the Brentwood SARC as the support structures, such as ISVAs, are in place within that SARC and different arrangements will be in place out of area. Links with local Police will be easier in Essex too, but other SARCs can be used where it is in the victims’ interests.

Free ESCB Gold Membership for the National Working Group (NWG)

Did you know that Gold Members (subscribers to the network) have access to a vast library of resources from, Reports to Research, leaflets to lesson plans, legislative information to FGM information, human trafficking to health guidance? The library currently holds 1,182 child sexual exploitation and modern day slavery (Human Trafficking) related resources and this is updated regularly. 

If you would like free gold membership, please email, providing your full name, job role, organisation and email address.  There has been a great response to this offer and we now have over 800 members signed up since March 2016. 

CSE & Missing Thematic Inspection Report

Time to listen:  A joined up approach to Child Sexual Exploitation and Missing has been published following the five recent joint targeted inspections (JTAIs).  The main message focuses on how local agencies are responding to child sexual exploitation (CSE) and missing children. Read the report here

Working with parents to safeguard children from child sexual exploitation

report has been developed by the Parent Action Group within Pace (Parents against child sexual exploitation) on the role of parents in safeguarding children.

Issues raised include how parents are often the first to identify signs that something is seriously wrong with their child, yet most parents do not know the warning signs of CSE and despite good practice in some areas, there appear to be barriers to effectively involving parents in safeguarding; the stereotype of the dysfunctional family as the cause of a child’s being vulnerable can distract attention away from the perpetrators.

Child sexual exploitation Snapchat story

The Scottish Government, in collaboration with YoungScot, have produced a short film about the process of creating live Snapchat story: ‘A Bad Romance’, to tackle CSE. Issues discussed include using a social media platform, which is very popular with young people, to create a targeted campaign, and collaborating with young people to develop the film.

Sexting guidance for schools and colleges…

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Education Group has published non-statutory advice for schools and colleges on responding to incidents of sexting. This includes, responding to disclosures, handling devices and imagery, risk assessing situations, involving other agencies, information on preventative education, working with parents and reporting imagery to providers. 

…and Parents’ perceptions of sexting

The NSPCC and FACTs International conducted a survey of parents and carers to find out what they know about sexting and how they can be better supported to help their children.

Key findings include how half of parents are unaware that it is illegal for a child to take a naked or sexual image of themselves and feedback from parents that they would like to receive information on healthy relationships and tips on how to start conversations about sexting.

New advice for parents tackling issues surrounding sexting has also been published and can be accessed here.


The CSE Response Unit is for professionals from all sectors who want to understand and improve their response to CSE, trafficking and modern slavery.

Benchmarking • Access to resources • Guidance • Telephone support  • Signposting to peers • Direct engagement.