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Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation

The Reducing Incidents of Sexual Exploitation (RISE) unit is the dedicated multi agency team tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). It comprises staff from Safeguarding and Children’s Services, Police, CAN (a third sector drug, alcohol and homeless service) and Health. It is co-located at Mereway, Northamptonshire Police Force Headquarters.

Children’s services staff within RISE include:

  • Three Family Support Workers (FSW’s), these engage with the 50+ young people open to the service.
  • Two CAN employees perform the same role.
  • Four other FSW’s complete independent return home interviews for young persons following missing / found episodes.
  • These are overseen by practice managers and a team manager, who are qualified social workers.
  • Health provide a specialist nurse to RISE. She undertakes direct work with the young people open to the service as well as promoting CSE and acting as point of contact to other health professionals in the county.

There are five police investigators within the team, managed by a Detective Sergeant. A second Detective Sergeant manages The Safeguarding Proactive Team (SPT), comprising six constables who lead on the proactive work of the RISE team. They develop intelligence and undertake enforcement activity such as the issuing of Child Abduction Warning Notices (CAWN’s) as well as safeguarding activity including searching for missing children. They are not exclusively focused on CSE and spend a proportion of their time supporting other work, for example the protection of vulnerable persons from sex offenders and domestic abuse perpetrators. Police officers within RISE provide 7 day cover from 0800 to 2200hrs.

A daily RISE meeting takes place Monday to Friday where information from across the partnership is considered, this includes the preceding 24 hour’s CSE related crimes, incidents, current missing children in the county and concerns received from other professionals sent into the team. The team receive in the region of 20 formal referrals per month, which are completed using the CSE risk assessment. These are heard at a weekly referrals meeting that also includes the Youth Offending Service and Education. Where a young person is accepted into RISE, ordinarily through the case being assessed as high risk, a family support worker is allocated to the young person to engage with them and conduct a series of work aimed at reducing their vulnerability to CSE.

An individual risk management plan is commenced for each young person and associated criminal investigations are ordinarily owned by RISE Police officers.

Since 1st August RISE has been using ECINS to record and securely share information with selected partners. Early feedback to date from staff has been positive, with the system deemed user friendly and easy to access.

ECINS is used to store and share information securely within the team, regardless of which organisation the individual member is from. It assists in the safeguarding of children, adults and vulnerable persons by providing a central hub for practitioners to securely share with multiple agencies who have a part to play in keeping individuals safe from harm, abuse and neglect.

Crucially, it provides a critical search and signpost facility for police and their partners to search a substantial national database of profiles from multi-agency sources that may not appear on any existing police databases.

The system records offenders’ trigger factors and sends automatic notifications to alert practitioners to issues of importance which assists in the management of child sexual exploitation.

ECINS can act simply as a sign posting tool highlighting who is working or involved with an individual or family, this is especially useful for schools or organisations who wish to see if a child is already known to agencies. It can also be used as a complete case management system. An important point to note is that the comprehensive access permissions mean that sensitive information can be ‘locked’ down and not seen by anyone other than selected staff within the partnership.

Northamptonshire Police is fully committed to the utilisation of ECINS across the county which enables the force to work fully in partnership with the County Council and multiple agencies and organisations.

The collaboration and sharing of information between these organisations helps to bring to the attention any issues of concern, with supporting information, images, reports and case information to those individuals who are tasked with supporting children or families at risk.

Tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE) and bringing offenders to justice is a priority for Northampton-shire Police. We are now operating with a deeper understanding of child sexual exploitation and we follow national best practice.

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