CSE Champions Bulletin - January 2018



Operation Henderson


Research and local data have shown transport networks are used by vulnerable young people who may be at risk of CSE/CCE and trafficking. Young people often gravitate towards stations because they are busy, anonymous places that also provide some form of shelter and access to food and drink. A young person may use a station or public transport as a way to try to disappear. Bus and rail networks can also be used by offenders to traffic young people for the purpose of sexual and criminal exploitation. Under the banner of Operation Henderson, a campaign will run from 29th January – 11th February, and then will involve outreach work and publication of new resources.

The campaign will support the general public, railway workers and businesses around stations to recognise the signs of exploitation and if they have concerns to report them to British Transport Police on 0800 405040 or text 61016.

Please help support the campaign through social media, by sharing resources with parents or young people and have conversations about spotting the signs and how to get support. For details about the wider project and to access the resources, which include leaflets and a training package visit the Operation Henderson webpage.

Update from The Children’s Society by Rosie Spindler


A key piece of work carried out by The Children's Society with young people is around consent. This is explored with young people in depth using different resources, some are outlined below.

Legal definition of consent: “A person consents if he/she agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.” Section 74, Sexual Offences Act: 2003

Cup of tea video

Freedom and capacity (image)

We have found through direct work, that although some young people feel they ‘know’ what consent is when initially discussed, when explored they are shocked at the following:

  • Having to be awake in order to consent – young people have questioned whether if they had fallen asleep or fallen unconscious due to substances, whether this is still consenting, especially if this is their boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • Age – young people have been unaware that if you have sex at 12 years old this is classed as statutory rape.
  • There is a lot of confusion with young people around consenting to sex with a boyfriend/girlfriend, and feeling although once they have consented to one sexual act, this then leads to many others without having to consent to each act.
  • Young people have commented that they feel obliged and expected to engage in sexual acts/sexual intercourse because they are their ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’.

Although these conversations with young females/males can be challenging at times and difficult, we have found that this is one of the most impactful topics, which can lead to disclosures of information and realisation of what may have happened to that young female/male, that they may not have previously understood. 

If you would like more information about direct work with young people our CARE (Children At Risk of Exploitation) service can offer support and advice 01245 493311.

National Referral Mechanism for victims of Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking by Cristina Gavrilovic, Essex Police

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking or modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support. The NRM was introduced in 2009 to meet the UK’s obligations under the Council of European Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. At the core of every country’s NRM is the process of locating and identifying “potential victims of trafficking”.

The NRM is also the mechanism through which the Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) collect data about victims. The national contract is held by The Salvation Army and it provides up ongoing accommodation, counselling, expert advice and advocacy for up to 90 days for an adult.

Children cannot access this service but must still be referred to the NRM through an NRM referral. Form and further guidance can be found here. A child identified at risk of being trafficked and exploited for sexual purposes, forced labour and criminal exploitation should be supported and safeguarded through the locally established safeguarding processes.

To find out more about how to identify the indicators of Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking this document has information for frontline workers or you can visit the ESCB website.

Spot It Stop It – Braintree District Initiative by Lucy Wilson, Community Safety Manager

Spot it, stop it

The Galley’s corner area of the Braintree District has been identified as a child exploitation hotspot through intelligence from MACE, Essex Police and from visits made to businesses as part of the work for National CSE awareness day back in March. Braintree embarked on a project to highlight this to local businesses and licensed premises in the area firstly by reaching out and seeing which business would engage with us to raise awareness. The response from most was very positive with most premises wanting to do what they could to ensure that the exploitation of children and young people was not happening on or near their premises.

We have since developed a scheme called, “SPOT IT STOP IT”. To be part of the scheme businesses have to adhere to a set of standards. You can find out more about the scheme here.

Choices Peer Development Programme in North Essex 2018

The next ‘Choice’s Peer Development Programme’ for young women aged 13 – 16 years old who are vulnerable to CSE and/or going Missing (with open cases to Children and Families Service) will be running over 7 weeks from Wednesday 31st January through to Wednesday 21st March at Clacton Family Centre.

The programme is structured to create a safe and trusting environment enabling young people to express their views without being judged.  Young people will be encouraged to participate in a series of peer led group activities enabling them to develop their confidence, self-esteem and understanding of healthy relationships and positive decision making.  

Find out more about the Choices Peer Development Programme.

2018 Schools CSE Project

ESCB will be repeating the popular 2016 schools CSE project in February to gain information to help them understand how aware children are of healthy relationships, CSE and online safety. For more information and to start preparing for February, schools can visit the ESCB website, which provides an outline about what is involved and access to the resources needed to complete the project, including parents/carers letters.

NWG training events


The latest training events from NWG have been published on the CSE Learning and Development pages of the ESCB website for easy access, and will be updated monthly so keep checking for relevant updates.

Child Exploitation Project Manager Blog

Clare Livens

Clare Livens, Child Exploitation Project Manager January blog is available to read here. Clare talks in more detail about the work being done with schools and Operation Henderson.

SET CSE Toolbox and access to SET CSE Toolbox Training

Southend, Essex and Thurrock CSE Toolbox

For professionals who work with children, young people and families, when they have concerns about child sexual exploitation.  This toolbox provides you with guidance and information about working with victims and perpetrators of child sexual exploitation, it supports you with easy access to information on how to share your concerns with Essex Police and it provides easy, fast access to the SET CSE Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment. If you need help with looking into multi-agency plans for children at risk, why not look at the CSE Risk Management Plan accessed via this toolbox, which can help you explore together actions to support in work with children and young people, their parents, carers and look at collecting evidence or disruption SET (Southend, Essex and Thurrock) CSE Toolbox 

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.


Working Effectively to Address Child Sexual Exploitation: Evidence Scope

Research in Practice have recently published a revised Evidence Scope on CSE (originally produced in September 2015), which now reflects new evidence and practice information. The Evidence Scope aims to support local areas in the continual development of CSE services by reviewing and critically appraising relevant evidence. It brings together evidence that supports interventions and multi-agency and inter-professional approaches to working to improve outcomes for young people who may be affected by CSE.

Resources: A guide to becoming a safer parent online

NWG Online: Onguard leaflet

NWG Online: Onguard leaflet (print-ready)

Stop CSE website for parents/carers

The impact of online and offline child sexual abuse

The NSPCC has published a report looking at effects of child sexual abuse (CSA) carried out using online or digital technologies. Findings include: technology can give perpetrators of abuse easier access to young people than they have in the offline world; the online environment can hide abusive dynamics that would be more obvious in face to face relationships; technology can give perpetrators of abuse easier access to young people than they have in the offline world. Full details can be found in the report.

County lines – criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable people

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has published an update on county lines, which is the drug dealing model involving networks from urban centres expanding their drug dealing activities into smaller towns and rural areas, often exploiting young or vulnerable people. Findings from a survey of police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and the Metropolitan Police include: 65% of forces reported that county lines activity was linked to the exploitation of children; and 26% of forces reported evidence of child sexual exploitation. It’s estimated there are at least 720 county lines across England and Wales, the majority of which will involve the exploitation of multiple young or otherwise vulnerable people.

Unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery: statutory guidance

The Department for Education (DfE) has published statutory guidance for local authorities in England setting out the steps that should be taken to plan for the provision of support for looked after children who are unaccompanied asylum seeking children, unaccompanied migrant children or child victims of modern slavery including trafficking.

NSPCC online course: managing sexualised behaviour in primary schools

The new online training course aims to help teachers and school staff identify and respond appropriately to instances of sexualised behaviour. It includes practical information and advice on how to recognise, respond to and report cases of unhealthy sexualised behaviour to help prevent children coming to harm. Training can be accessed here.

Child sexual exploitation: How public health can support prevention and intervention

The impact of child sexual exploitation can be profound and devastating. This resource provides local public health teams with both the evidence base for their role on prevention, as well as a practical framework to help support public health leaders and commissioners to take effective action.

Alexi Project evaluation of CSE service development

The Alexi Project was a five-year development programme, designed by the Child Sexual Exploitation Funders Alliance (CSEFA) to extend the reach of specialist CSE voluntary services across England using a 'Hub and Spoke' model. Key messages from the University of Bedfordshire evaluation of the Project include:

  • CSE service provision expanded significantly across England. By the close of the evaluation period they had trained 6568 professionals and provided 1-1 support to 783 children and young people.
  • The voluntary sector is valued for its ability to engage young people affected by CSE and make a distinct contribution to local safeguarding through workers’ ability to engage young people that other services find hard to reach.

The report also contains valuable learning about implementing service expansion using the Hub and Spoke model.  The full report and a range of other resources are at the Alexi Project website.