ESCB Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Bulletin - July 2017


Welcome to the July 2017 CSE Bulletin

Essex CSE Information

Clare Livens Blog


ESCB’s Child Exploitation Project Manager thanks those who are updating their CSE Champion training standards and discusses how we need to think about our language around ‘exploitation’. Read her July blog here.

Essex Police Case Study: A Story of Trafficking

Hundreds of children are trafficked across UK borders and many are caught up in exploitation and modern day child slavery. The Home Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families have produced joint guidance on safeguarding children who may have been trafficked. It states that a child may be briefed by the trafficker to make contact with the local authority so that their immediate welfare and care needs are met, then once this has been accomplished the child is briefed to leave the placement to meet the ‘facilitator’.

Read this case study provided by Essex Police, of how an unaccompanied young person was discovered at a port in 2017.

CARE Update: Boys and Young Men

Sarah Simpkin 

To refer a male at risk of CSE into the CARE service, the following criteria needs to be met:

  • Young people up to the age of 24
  • Young people at medium or high risk of CSE (as assessed through the Southend, Essex & Thurrock CSE Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment)
  • Young people ‘unwilling’ or ‘unable’ to engage with statutory services

Please note that in the final point, ‘engagement’ refers to either unable to meet regularly with social worker (this could be for any reason including the social worker based outside of the County) or not engaging in conversations around CSE with their social worker.

CARE has noted that when working with males around the issue of CSE, there is often a different starting point to female clients. We often need to spend a large amount of time explaining and informing the young person on how and why a male may be sexually exploited and that this can be done by both male and female perpetrators, before exploring their own exploitation. This, in addition to identity concerns, sexuality and societal views on masculinity can result in male victims of CSE being more ‘hidden’ than female victims.

We would like you to speak to a member of the CARE team if any of the following risk factors are identified with male clients:

 - Criminal exploitation, in which children are being used to sell or move drugs (this has been referred to as drug running, if: 

  •  In particular, involved with a substance more often associated with adult users e.g. heroin and cocaine
  •  Plugging. Please note that the retrieval of these can be done in a sexually humiliating manner

 - Gang affiliation, if:

  • Disclosure that the young person has attended or resided in a ‘trap house’. This refers to a property acquired by a gang, often through manipulation and coercion of a vulnerable adult, through which drugs is either sold, stored or profits held
  • Initiation processes
  • Young person discusses threats or punishment that could hold a sexual element
  • Criminally exploited
  • Trafficking (please ensure that a NRM referral is also completed)
  • Internally trafficked for gang purposes / criminal exploitation
  • Refugee and migrant young people with risk of previous external trafficking and criminal exploitation

 - Issues around sexual identity, if:

  • The young person does not seemingly have a safe place to explore this
  • Use of apps such as grinder in an attempt to physically / virtually meet other young men

 - Online gaming, if:

  • In addition to issues around sexuality
  • Little knowledge of online safety
  • Spending large amounts of time online

Please contact the CARE team on 01245 493311

Children and Young Person’s Update

This case study gives voice to a young person on their experience after disclosing being groomed…

It Takes Forever (from Disclosure to Court)

Last summer, police and social services got involved in my life because I was in an unhealthy relationship. I told dad what was going on and he called the police.

When the police came they wanted to ask lots of questions. Talking to them was okay; I could talk to them, they didn’t judge me, they listened and said they would try to find out what had happened.

They got social care involved. At first this was okay but it felt like some of the workers didn’t really listen to me. At my Child In Need meeting they would always side with mum; not listen to me or dad. I never felt like they could talk to me; they never asked me what I wanted. My social worker told us she would stay with me but then she passed me onto a student social worker, who I got on well with. She would text me just to see if I was okay. She didn’t make me feel like I was being interviewed; it felt like she was there for me. Because they thought I was doing okay, they closed my case but I still needed it. My dad told them I still needed support but it was still closed.

My safeguarding teacher at school was really good. Every time I left a lesson because I couldn’t handle it she would talk to me, understand where I was coming from - she gave me an exit pass so I could leave the class whenever I needed.

School referred me to the Choices programme, which helped, going through grooming talking and everything helped me to see pretty much everything that had happened to me. They also helped me get referred to CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse in Essex); it was annoying that took so long to get done.

Its nearly a year now, I’m still waiting to hear what’s happening with the police case; they get in touch every now and again. I’m feeling okay, just want it behind me. I’m going to do some volunteering over the summer and am looking forward to starting college.

My message to any staff working with young people is communicate with them, don’t judge them and speak to them how you would want to be spoken to, not like you are a piece of dirt. Don’t close cases because you think people are ready, they might need more time.

Youth Service Update

Chelsea's Choice is a countywide Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) project commissioned by Essex County Council’s Youth Strategy Groups and partners.

As part of this, free training sessions are running in September and October 2017, aimed at professionals and community leaders working with young people. Find out more and how to book here.


Serious Youth Violence and Gangs in Essex

James Pearson, Youth Offending Service

Within Essex there has been a noticeable increase in cases of serious youth violence and serious incidents of child sexual exploitation. This has been identified by raising awareness of the prevalence of gangs within Essex. As a Youth Offending Service, we have been interacting directly with those both affected by gangs and involved with them. This interaction has led us to believe that a more targeted approach to working with, allocating resources to, and preventing violence is required.

By changing the language away from the more commonly used ‘gang-associated’ and ‘gang-affiliated’ terms, we aim to encompass a far greater understanding of the risks posed and vulnerabilities young people may present. We aim to use more of the child sexual exploitation approach in appreciating the whole young person rather than just their offending when identifying risk. This is because our assessments are demonstrating that the elements of exploitation and coercion in young people identified as being in gangs, play a much larger role in their behaviours than had previously been understood by the criminal justice system.

To achieve this, we are moving towards a model of using the definition ‘gang-embedded’ and ‘gang-exploited’ to differentiate our cohorts. Those young people who would be assessed as ‘gang-embedded’ pose the highest risk. Their identity is intrinsically linked to the gang lifestyle and culture and feel offending behaviour is inevitable. The influencing of other young people into offending is also a key aspect. Their behaviours would benefit most from high levels of focused disruption from enforcement agencies and intensive support from criminal justice agencies. It is envisaged that this would be the much smaller cohort.

The second definition is ‘gang-exploited’. These will be the larger cohort of young people who are involved in risky and / or criminal behaviour but following investigation always present some form of coercion into their actions. Linking with elements of child exploitation, the behaviours of perpetrators following the grooming approach and the young people shows how they often don’t realise they are being exploited. They do not have the same gang identity and strong ties to the idea of it and will instead profess that they got into it for money rather than for a sense of belonging. To tackle this, the intervention needs to be tailored to the previously mentioned specifics, so focusing more on how to remove the risk from those who are exploiting them and addressing their motivations for becoming involved. Using this definition will enable us to tackle the root cause of the problem and prevent future or further criminal exploitation.

As a Youth Offending Service we are moving towards this model and it is being considered across other agencies within Essex County Council and externally, due to the flexibility it will offer over the original Home Office definitions.    

Changes to CSE Champions

From April 2017, Southend, Essex and Thurrock (SET) 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, specific standards must be achieved.

If you are an existing CSE Champion or would like to become one; stay updated on the changes to the role and the application process on the website as current CSE Champions will have until the end of January 2018 to re-apply.

One of the new standards includes attending at least one CSE Champions Forum each year. These free events provide a chance to meet and network with other CSE Champions, as well as local and national updates in relation to CSE.

Dates for forums running in October and November 2017 will be released shortly…look out on the website for updates.


SET CSE Toolbox

Want to know about the disruption of suspects and perpetrators and what police powers and actions we can take to deter people we have concerns about? You can find this out under 'guidance' within the SET CSE Toolbox.

Ensure you make use of this key resource, which guides professionals through the complex network of young people’s lives to gain a better insight into their vulnerabilities and indicators of CSE. It includes access to the CSE Risk & Vulnerabilities Assessment. 

CSE Response Unit


The CSE Response Unit is delivered by NWG and aims to work with professionals and agencies from all sectors who want to understand and improve their response to CSE, trafficking and modern slavery.

Find out more from Phil Ashford, Operational Lead, who spoke to us earlier in 2017 about the Unit and broader work of the NWG in tackling child sexual exploitation...


The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse

The Centre of Expertise has published four new research papers Key Messages from Research on Child Sexual Exploitation for staff working in health settings, commissioning health care services, professionals in school settings, and multi-agency working, which bring together current research on child sexual exploitation with implications for practice, strategic commissioning and multi-agency working.

These complement the four previously published reports, which can be found on the Centre of Expertise website.

Alcohol and why People Drink It

This episode of Voice box, Childline’s weekly video chat, looks at underage drinking. Topics covered include: reasons why young people drink; the effects of alcohol on the mind; vulnerability and keeping safe. Watch it here and read what you need to know about alcohol.   

Young people’s views about the Government’s Internet Safety Strategy


UK Safer Internet Centre has published findings from the views of 65 young people aged 11-18 years, who were consulted to help shape the national government’s Internet Safety Strategy. 

They reported that: social media icons such as reporting, blocking and privacy are helpful if you are experiencing cyberbullying; social media companies should make the report button more visible and privacy settings should automatically come on when you sign up to accounts.

Online support for LGBT Young People

The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) has launched inter-AKT, which connects young LGBT people experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment, with digital mentors and resources.

Safer Internet

 Alan Earl, a police officer working with the UK Safer Internet Centre, discusses the disconnect between children and young people’s desire for online privacy and their parent’s role in protecting them from harmful content online in this blog for the UK Safer Internet Centre.

CSE amongst Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities


The Children’s Society recently completed a year-long project to improve awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) amongst Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. The project has explored vulnerabilities and barriers to support services and resources to raise awareness of this issue amongst communities. 

As a result, resources were produced to support communities, parents, children and young people; as well as professionals working with them, to raise awareness of CSE. This includes an animation around sexting and online grooming created by Gypsy and Traveller young people; an accompanying workbook and professionals’ guide; and posters and leaflets translated into two Roma community languages of Romanian and Slovak.

All resources are on The Children’s Society website and the animation can be found on YouTube and Facebook.

Abuse and Access to Health Services: Videos by Children & Young People

Commissioned by the NHS England CSE National Sub Group, Fixers collaborated with children and young people to produce a set of videos relating to abuse and access to health services. Please share and promote via the links below: