Scrutiny Committee gets update on efforts to tackle CSE
Telford & Wrekin Council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee has welcomed additional investment by Telford & Wrekin Council to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE).
TheCommittee met on Thursday to receive an interim report on how the 38recommendations from the committee’s report on CSE are being implemented.
Thereport was presented by Andrew Mason, chairman of the Telford & WrekinSafeguarding Children Board, and Councillor Paul Watling, cabinet member forChildren, Young People and Communities.
Itdemonstrated the significant work that has been done by partners to implementthe recommendations, 17 of which are already completed with the rest on trackto be completed within the target timescale.
Keyareas highlighted include the additional investment by the Council inspecialist staff to support victims of CSE and raise awareness, additionalsafeguarding requirements as a condition of licensing.
Otherkey issues included increased awareness training for taxi drivers and a focuson CSE in the commissioning of mental and sexual health services .
Themeeting also heard from Superintendent Tom Harding from West Mercia Police, whoprovided data on child sexual offences and an analysis of victim andperpetrator profiles.
He alsoemphasized the need to get clear and accurate information to the public tocounter misperceptions and to continue to raise awareness so that crime doesnot go unreported and can be investigated.
CouncillorKevin Guy, chairman of the Scrutiny Committee, said: “We will have a full endof year report on how our recommendations have been implemented 12 months on.
“However,as the safety of our young is a top priority, we felt it was important to havean interim check on how things were progressing.
“Werecognise that progress has been made in a widr range of areas and were assuredof the ongoing commitment and hard work of agencies to tackle the issues.
“Thecommittee also welcomed the additional investment by the Council in fundingthree new posts to support CSE work, particularly in this challenging financialclimate.
“Wewere pleased to note the commitment from the police to strengthen work withpartners, particularly schools.
“Wealso agreed that more should be done to provide the public with accurateinformation about the profile of victims and perpetrators to overcomestereotypes and misconceptions so that people are more aware of risks andreport concerns.
“The clear message is that protecting children and young people is everyone’sbusiness.”
Ifanyone is aware of a child at risk, they should contact West Mercia Police. The“front door” for any calls to the Council is the Family Connect service on01952 385385.