Prevent aims to stop people from becoming perpetrators of Child Sexual Exploitation, including supporting those who display harmful sexual behaviours and preventing incidents of Child Sexual Exploitation.
Soft Intelligence Sharing
Research commissioned by the Department for Education, found that a third of people who suspect child abuse do not report it. They are mainly deterred by the fear of having misread a situation or of wrongly accusing someone. This information then slips through the net and the opportunity to prevent harm at that point is lost. In addition, numerous enquiries and serious case reviews have commented that professionals all possess different pieces of a jigsaw in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation, but rarely is this put together effectively to keep children safe.
CSE Perpetrator letters
To address an identified gap in the management of suspected perpetrators who did not meet the threshold for formal intervention a "Letter of concern" was developed by the SW region. Example of use could be where there is information that the adult has been in company with a child or young person or that there are children/young people at an address, but no formal crimes made out.
Two versions of the letter were developed one for a ‘person of concern’ and one to parents, to indicate possible CSE at a location.
The circumstances in which the letters are used should be carefully considered. If any offences are suspected or disclosed, this is not an appropriate course of action. When dealing with a person of concern if the criteria are met to serve a Child Abduction Warning Notice (CAWN), then a CAWN should be served instead of using this letter. The letter should be considered with the range of tactical options open to child protection teams, which could include covert activity, warning letters to suspects, abduction notices, proactive patrols and training.
The letters can be used as part of a prevent strategy to send to parents where it is suspected that there may be CSE at a particular location but do not have sufficient evidence to identify any victims.
Devon and Cornwall use the person of interest letters integrated into an ‘intervention’ programme for offenders. Wiltshire adopted the process for suspect and victim letters but did not issue any. Avon and Somerset have adopted the process for victim and suspect letters and Op Topaz have issued letters to persons of interest and parents. Dorset or Gloucestershire did not adopt the process.
Operation Netsafe - a sexting campaign
In view of the increasing threat and demand posed by on-line offences against children, an all Wales (including North Wales Police which is part of TITAN North West ROCU) Policing response has been developed which combines increased law enforcement activity together with publicity to refer those who are concerned about their own or a loved one’s online activity to get help. Welsh Police forces have worked in partnership with the Lucy Faithful Foundation, a charity whose mission is to prevent the sexual abuse of children and young people by working with protective adults, those affected by abuse and those perpetrating it, including young people with harmful sexual behaviour. They offer a number of resources to assist those who identify that they need help.