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Wiltshire Council steps up campaign against Child Sexual Exploitation

Wiltshire Council steps up campaign against Child Sexual Exploitation

Wiltshire’s progress on tackling child sexual exploitation and further initiatives to step up the campaign against the crime have been outlined in  a recent report.   Wiltshire Council works closely with Wiltshire Police and the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board to help raise awareness and encourage people to report suspicions so action can be taken.   Widespread training has been implemented including amongst taxi drivers and fast food outlets to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE).  A specialist CSE unit called the Emerald Team was also set up with Wiltshire Police last year. Regular updates are provided to Wiltshire Council leaders with the latest update at today’s cabinet meeting showing the measures taken are having an impact.   From April to June 2016 there were 34 children identified as at risk of CSE in Wiltshire – suspected or confirmed. During the same period, following successful CSE interventions and reduction of risk and vulnerability, 11 children have been removed and protected from abuse by CSE.  A number of perpetrators have been identified and action taken against them by the police, council and partner agencies.   People can currently report concerns around CSE by contacting the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, however there are plans to make it even easier for people to report possible cases of CSE by using the My Wiltshire App this autumn. The Wiltshire Council website will also shortly be launching dedicated CSE pages and links to reporting possible cases as part of the campaign to raise awareness.    Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a crime involving children and young people being tricked, forced or manipulated into sexual activity in exchange for something. This may be money, alcohol, drugs, gifts or accommodation – or less tangible goods such as affection or status. CSE can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition.   Victims of abuse can be profoundly affected by the abuse often in emotional psychological trauma and require therapeutic support. To support these young people, a Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner has been seconded to work with the Emerald and the Looked After Children Team. A second missing children co-ordinator has also been appointed to help deal with enquiries.   Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: “We have come some way in tackling this heinous crime but there is always more we can do. We cannot stand still and these new initiatives are designed to ensure we are using every tool at our disposal to keep our children and young people safe.”


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