Agenda item

Child Sexual Exploitation Update

To receive an update on any developments relating to child sexual exploitation in North Tyneside

 

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received anupdate on the work being undertaken to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in North Tyneside.  The Report provided information relating to what work was being undertaken across the Authority and with Partners.

 

North Tyneside Children’s Services worked closely with the police who would co-ordinate a neighbourhood officer response and determine if a Child Abduction Warning Notice (CAWN) could be served on a property where a young person under 16 might be going and there were worries around exploitation. Should this disruption not work to reduce the worries, or the worries escalated then the case would be referred in to the Missing, Slavery (MDS), Exploitation and Trafficking (MSET) Panel for workers who had a worry that a child or young person was at risk through being missing, involved in slavery, being exploited or trafficked.

 

Pre-MSET meetings were held once a month to review referrals and agree actions. The meeting consisted of the police, a senior manager in children’s services, residential managers and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). All referrals were screened and the meeting discussed what work had been undertaken to disrupt and what further work could be recommended. If it was agreed to progress to the full MSET panel, then the meeting was held the following week with full multi agency attendance.

 

In North Tyneside Children’s Services, the case recording system allowed for identification of children who were at risk of being missing involved in slavery, exploitation or potentially were being trafficked and regular reports allowed for active review and monitoring of cases. This enabled discussion in supervision; appropriate referrals being progressed, or disruptive action progressed.

There was currently scoping taking place around having a multi-agency data set which would better facilitate strategic and operational understanding of the extent of the worries and the impact of the arrangements.

 

In recognition of the need to better understand Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) across the Borough, the Police had commissioned a problem profile. This would inform the Council’s response moving forward.

 

           

Under the new North Tyneside Safeguarding Children’s Partnership arrangements a report would be provided to the Quality of Practice Standing Group. This group would meet every two months and have oversight of the Local Authority response and provide any further recommendations for this area.  The Corporate Parenting Forum also received a six-monthly report on missing episodes.

On average there were ten young people who were at risk of sexual exploitation in North Tyneside.

 

Members enquired about comparative figures of child sexual exploitation with other local authorities and it was confirmed that the larger metropolitan Boroughs  - Middlesborough, Newcastle and Sunderland had a greater number and more complex cases.

 

The Sub-committee was informed that in relation to the close proximity and porous borders with the other local authorities in the North East, Operation Sanctuary was a joint working arrangement with police and social work colleagues to share knowledge, information and intelligence on named persons. The Youth Offending Team also shared information with colleagues and the joint working arrangements and close working relationships, including the work with the North of Tyne was a big strength. 

 

It was reported that any safeguarding concerns in North Tyneside needed to be raised/signposted to the multi agency safeguarding hub and Members noted that training had been set up for taxi drivers to raise awareness of how to escalate concerns.

 

Intelligence had been received that the Metro Transport System was being utilised to move drugs and this information was being communicated to partner agencies to raise the profile of criminal exploitation.

Members expressed concerns regarding criminal activity taking place on the Metro System which was unregulated and in response the Sub-committee was advised that the Youth Justice Team had regular meetings with the Metro and Nexus and were building relationships with the Community Protection Team.

 

The Chair thanked Officers for the informative report and for attendance at the meeting.

 

It was agreed to note the contents of the report and that an Update on the Youth Justice Team be circulated to the Committee.

 

 

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