More Children Being Protected In Cumbria
3 June 2019, 06:25 | Updated: 3 June 2019, 06:49
The force is highlighting the work being done to help victims of child sexual exploitation
The number of recorded child sexual exploitation crimes recorded in Cumbria over the last two years has almost doubled.
As part of National Child Safety Week, police in Cumbria are highlighting some of the unseen work that is conducted each day to protect children across the county.
Child protection is a key priority for the Constabulary who work with various partner agencies, community groups and members of the public to keep children safe from harm. A large proportion of the numerous measures taken by police officers and staff to keep children in Cumbria safe is work that the public may not be aware of or would see.
With the development of technology and changes to how criminals operate, police in Cumbria are using numerous methods to keep young people safe and tackle those who exploit children by bringing offenders to justice.
Safeguarding measures for vulnerable people, which include children, at risk of threat or harm are at the forefront of all policing activity. The Constabulary is a member of the Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) which is a strategic multi-agency partnership that works together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children across the county. Through effective information-sharing and continuous partnership work the LSCB aim to ensure that all agencies, with a safeguarding duty, are doing all they can to protect children. The LSCB will soon be replaced by the Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP), which will have the same strategic aims and objectives.
Every child and young person subject of a missing person report will have their case reviewed by detectives within the Safeguarding Hub. Not only is unseen policing work conducted to help locate them but further work is done to support the child to prevent them going missing again.
Progress in how the Constabulary record and investigate crime has enabled children vulnerable to exploitation to be identified at an earlier stage. Once identified, police will work quickly to establish the appropriate safeguarding measures to prevent a child being victim to a crime or to stop abuse where it is happening. This work can also lead to the identification of further child victims or those at risk.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Dan St Quintin, Cumbria Constabulary Public Protection Unit, said: “The way criminals, who look to exploit children, operate has developed with the continuous advancement in technology. Many of the crimes we deal with are unseen to the public with offenders using online technology to contact children to groom them into sexual or criminal activity. This is happening behind closed doors, sometimes invisible to parents or guardians.
“A significant amount of work we do involves the safeguarding of victims of crime and those identified as being at risk. In Cumbria we work closely with all our partner agencies in order to build as conclusive intelligence picture as possible in order to assess the threat and risk of harm to children and young people in order to keep them safe. With this information we can put in place the appropriate measures to safeguard them.
“Within our control room we have a safeguarding team that reviews risk of harm to vulnerable people and sets actions to ensure that those who need to be kept safe, get the right response at the right time.