ESCB Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Bulletin - April 2017


Welcome to the April 2017 CSE Bulletin

Essex CSE Information

Clare Livens Blog


Our Child Sexual Exploitation Project Manager discusses the far and wide support received for the recent I Didn’t Know Campaign, and also upcoming opportunities for frontline workers to give their views on tackling CSE in the county. 

Southend, Essex and Thurrock CSE Toolbox and the Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment

The new ‘SET CSE Toolbox’ features a range of guidance, resources and a new ‘SET CSE Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment’ that can be used by staff working with children, young people and families when they have concerns about child sexual exploitation. 

It replaces the SET CSE Risk Assessment Toolkit and has been created in consultation with the National CSE Response Unit (part of the National Working Group). 

The new risk assessment is a sharper, more focused instrument and guides professionals through the complex network of young people’s lives to gain a better insight into their vulnerabilities and indicators of CSE. 

Find out what the CSE toolbox includes and access it on the CSE professionals page.

How to access the FREE CSE Toolbox Online Training

Visit the CSE learning and development page to find out more about this free training to support staff in undertaking the CSE Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment and what you need to do to access it.

New Arrangements for SET CSE Champions

From April 2017, Southend, Essex and Thurrock (SET) have agreed a common approach to the role of the CSE Champion.

There will no longer be specific CSE Champions Training. In order to qualify for a CSE Champion role within Southend, Essex and Thurrock, a set of standards must be achieved.

These standards ensure that all CSE Champions across SET have achieved a specific level of training / development and knowledge to ensure they are able to fulfil the role expectations.

Visit our CSE Champions Learning and Development page to find out about the changes to the role and access the request form. 

Chelsea’s Choice is coming to Essex

The ECC Youth Strategy Groups and partners have joint commissioned a countywide CSE project for young people aged 13 – 19 (up to 25 if Special Educational Need) and professionals and community leaders working with young people. 

Chelsea’s Choice is an innovative and powerful production highlighting the very serious and emotional issue of child sexual exploitation. The production shows how young people - boys and girls - are groomed by adults for the purposes of sexual exploitation using various methods, ensnaring young people and eventually taking complete control and dominating their whole lives:

  • FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE: Chelsea’s Choice Drama Performance. 60 performances across Essex, available to 200-250 students per performance.
  • FOR ADULTS WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE: Six additional performances across Essex.
  • RISE 2-  A three day early intervention residential programme for young people at Mersea Outdoors for 120 students (10 per district) providing a mix of workshops and outdoor activities that increases resilience and reduces young people’s vulnerabilities to being groomed/exploited. Takes place 24th- 26th October. 

Dates of children and young people performances

Dates for adults working with young people will be disseminated shortly. The ESCB CSE learning and development pages will be updated during May with booking details.


What are Missing Chats?

Annette Masters, Family Operations Missing Co-ordinator

A Missing Chat (also known as Missing Return Interviews) is an in-depth conversation with a young person who has run away. Missing Chats are offered to all Essex young people who run away. This is done via a letter from Family Operations providing information about the benefits of a missing chat and contact options.

When a young person runs away, there is always an underlying reason. There may be push and pull factors that cause the young person to run away and that they do not feel anyone would understand.  Missing Chats are an important element of supporting young people when they return from running away, to make solutions and develop strategies to keep themselves safe. 

Missing Chats can also provide an opportunity to uncover information that can help protect young people from the risk of further missing episodes, risks they may be exposed to whilst missing or from risk factors in their home or local community.

A good return interview can:

  • Provide understanding and address the reasons why a young person has run away
  • Identify harm that may have occurred whilst the young person was away
  • Allow professionals to identify actions to address and prevent further risks through discussion with the young person. 
  • Help young people feel safe
  • Provide young people with information on how to stay safe

Missing Chats must be carried out by an independent professional who the young person trusts. If you know that a young person has been missing; ask them if they have had a missing chat. Let them know you can request one on their behalf, as even though they will already have been offered one, young people can change their mind at a later date. Sometimes, a young person might ask for a missing chat to be carried out by a professional that is known to them. The Family Operations Involvement Team (who co-ordinate Missing Chats) are able to support the professional to carry it out with the young person on request.

If you know a young person who would like a Missing Chat or would like to make an enquiry; please contact the Family Operations Involvement Team at and we will reply to you as soon as possible. 

We can also provide information on staying safe for young people on request.    

Missing Person Liaison Officers (MPLOs)

DS Louise Wilson, Essex Police

MPLOs have now been in post within Essex Police for just over a year.

Their role is not to investigate or assist in the location of persons currently missing but liaise with other agencies to identify the person’s vulnerabilities, find out why they are going missing and look at the long-term solution to prevent/reduce and stop these missing episodes.

If any person outside of Essex Police has concerns that a child is missing or information about the whereabouts of a child already reported missing, this MUST be reported by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. 

Forcewide coverage:
There are 10 MPLOs in the county who are members of police staff and centrally supervised within Crime and Public Protection Command. There is one per district (DPA) and they generally sit within the Community Policing Team (CPT) hubs, working closely with Children and Young Person (CYP) officers.  Partner agencies and police colleagues have remarked about what an asset our MPLOs have become to Essex Police and HMIC recently praised the improvements evident since forming a year ago.

How can MPLOs help and support you?

  • As a problem solving resource, assist with the location of high-risk missing persons by ensuring a firm Found Plan is in place to support officers when the missing person is found and will submit intelligence received from their relationship with frequently-missing children and from information shared with Essex Police by partners. They record trigger plans for those most at risk.
  • They will ensure all intelligence submitted by other officers and staff is raised at strategy meetings and shared with partners as appropriate.
  • The MPLOs are proving to be an essential link by submitting intelligence which assists in identifying patterns of criminality, including trafficking/modern slavery, gangs, drug offences and sexual offences.
  • They are able to identify CSE hotspots and perpetrators and identify intelligence gaps to ensure pro-active work can be conducted around perpetrators.
  • They conduct joint visits with officers and Social Care to returned young persons identified as at risk. They will regularly visit hotels and other areas of concern, often alongside the CYP officers, in order to raise awareness in relation to all forms of child exploitation.
  • They have been involved in CSE training to social workers and care providers in relation to missing children around the county.

What is a Trigger Plan?
A Trigger Plan is a document drawn up by the MPLO / Essex Police Operations Centre Triage Team when a child is identified as high risk CSE or other vulnerability and who goes missing.

This trigger plan signposts officers quickly and efficiently, to associates’ known addresses or other locations.  It will also detail intelligence of note/concern to better risk assess that person.  It is usual to share this trigger plan with other agencies, so that all partners are working together to support children that go missing. 

The Children’s Society, Child At Risk of Exploitation (CARE) update

Sarah Simpkin, CARE Service Manager

The CARE team has reviewed its first year of delivery and significant progress has been made. Highlights include recruitment of our team, ensuring that there is a clear referral pathway, developing a boys and young men’s role within the service as well as delivering training and awareness-raising sessions to 537 professionals.

Looking forward to Year Two, we are seeking to further our reach through the recruitment of our new CSE Group Worker, Sophie Taylor. CARE continues to support the Engagement Team in the delivery of Choices, the medium-risk CSE group.  Through Sophie’s role we will be offering additional High Risk CSE groups. 

If you have a group of young people within your establishment or organisation that you think would be suitable for group work please contact or the CARE team on 01245 493311

We will continue developing our mentoring scheme within CARE as well as grow the participation elements of the service. Family work will remain a feature of the CARE provision, having engaged 85 parents in Year One. 

CARE has also reviewed outcomes for young people. The table below shows some decreases in scoring, which we think reflects where young people believed themselves to be compared to where they realistically are now. The dip in scoring can be seen throughout a lot of young people’s experiences and time with the service, after having an increased understanding of CSE and a better understanding of the concerns held by professionals regarding their risk of harm.


“If only I knew what I know now”

Visit our Support Campaign page to download and share case studies from young people and carers affected by CSE:

'A Young Person in Care in Essex - Alison’s story

"You need to keep looking out for these young people. Look out for the signs and the missing information" - Jane’s Story

"I want to tell you my story, about what happened to my grandchild and how it has affected us all" - A carer’s case study

…I was so scared, but felt trapped” - Johnny’s Story


County Lines

“COUNTY LINES” is the term used by police and partners for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban and rural areas, market and coastal towns using dedicated mobile phone lines.

These gangs use children and young people to move drugs and money to and from urban areas and is a major cross-cutting issue involving drugs, violence, gangs, safeguarding, exploitation, modern slavery and missing persons.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) published a report last year, which highlights both that this phenomenon is becoming more widespread and that the age of those involved is getting younger, with children as young as 12 being targeted as part of county lines exploitation.

Read more about ‘county lines’ in our news story.

Helping Young Men Stay Safe Online


The Marie Collins Foundation has partnered with HM Government, the NSPCC and Internet Watch on a campaign, which aims to protect victims from online sexual abuse by guiding young men away from illegal content and driving awareness of the law so they can navigate their online environment safely and legally.

Launched in April, it uses specially created videos and case studies of survivors to raise awareness of the issues and encourage young people to play their part by reporting any online content of concern that they encounter.

Support the campaign on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtags #NoIfsNoButs, #KnowtheLaw and #voiceofthevictim

Child Sexual Exploitation: a new definition

In February 2017, the DfE released a revised definition of child sexual exploitation and associated guidance

This new guidance, which is non-statutory, replaces the previous 2009 safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation.  It has been produced to help practitioners, local leaders and decision makers, who work with children and families, to identify child sexual exploitation and take appropriate action in response. This includes management, disruption and prosecution of perpetrators. 

This new guidance should be read alongside Working Together to Safeguard Children.

The Annexes to the guidance released outlines important issues in respect of:

  • Transitions for young people;
  • The importance of relationships in adolescence;
  • Key risks in adolescence;
  • Risk and adolescent behaviour, and responses to risk;
  • Guide to disruption orders and legislation; 



Child sexual exploitation offences in Greater Manchester

Ann Coffey MP has published a report looking at child sexual exploitation in the Greater Manchester area. Figures from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) show: there were 714 recorded sexual offences that were flagged for child sexual exploitation (CSE) in 2016, compared with 146 in 2013; and a survey of 2,452 Year 10 children in the area found that 12% of 14-year-olds reported sending a sext message or image, while 22% said they had received one.


Responding to Sexting in Schools and Colleges

 In August 2016, the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) published non-statutory guidance on managing incidents of sexting by under-18s.

Over 200 organisations were involved in creating the guidance, including the government and the DfE, children’s charities, UK Safer Internet Centre, CEOP, Police, and teachers’ groups.

The UKCCIS guidance is non-statutory, but should be read alongside ‘Keeping children safe in education’. It should be followed unless there’s a good reason not to do so.

There is no clear definition of ‘sexting’. Instead, this document talks about ‘youth-produced sexual imagery’. This is imagery that is being created by under 18s themselves and involves still photographs, video, and streaming. In the guidance, this content is described as sexual and not indecent. Indecent is subjective and has no specific definition in UK law.

Indecent images of children: guidance for young people

The Home Office has published guidance to help young people understand the law on making or sharing indecent images of children. 

The guidance includes:

  • Definitions of some of the terms used in legislation;
  • Examples of situations covered by the law;
  • Three short films highlighting the harm that viewing indecent images of children can cause.

We’ve included the Home Office guidance on our CSE pages: Know the Law: Indecent Images

Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: Understanding Risk and Vulnerability

This report presents findings of a Rapid Evidence Assessment of risk indicators for child sexual abuse (CSA) and CSE. Assessing published research and reviewing ten risk assessment tools, it finds that: 

  • Being a victim of abuse and neglect and atypical sexual interests were risk factors for becoming a perpetrator of CSA
  • Disability and living in residential care increased the risk of becoming a victim of CSA and CSE.         
  • Concludes that many risk assessment tools are based on a limited evidence base, without evaluation of rigorous testing.

NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC)


Advice and support for professionals worried that a young person may be a victim of trafficking.

CTAC provides free guidance and training to professionals concerned that a child or young person has been or is about to be trafficked into or out of the UK including:

  • Advice by telephone and email
  • Co-ordinate multi-agency responses, focused on protecting the child
  • Deliver training and awareness-raising presentations
  • Attend child protection meetings and produce child trafficking reports for courts
  • A first responder for child referrals into the national referral mechanism (NRM) – a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking and ensuring they receive appropriate care

If you work with children or young people who may have been trafficked into the UK, contact our specialist service for information and advice. 

Call 0808 800 5000 or email