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Community closes ranks on child abusers

Author: Gavin Moore Published: 7th May 2017 12:08
In the joint initiative by the Northants Safeguarding Children Board, South Northants Council (SNC), Northants Police’s RISE team and Northants County Council, experts gave a presentation and took questions during a free event at The Forum in Towcester on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.In the joint initiative by the Northants Safeguarding Children Board, South Northants Council (SNC), Northants Police’s RISE team and Northants County Council, experts gave a presentation and took questions during a free event at The Forum in Towcester on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.

Child abusers are warned they cannot hide from their crimes after community and volunteer workers in South Northamptonshire gathered to learn what they can do to tackle the problem.
 
In the joint initiative by the Northants Safeguarding Children Board, South Northants Council (SNC), Northants Police’s RISE team and Northants County Council, experts gave a presentation and took questions during a free event at The Forum in Towcester on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.
 
They explained the nature of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), how to spot the early warning signs, answered concerns about the reporting system, and outlined what communities can do to tackle abuse.
 
Nicola Riley, SNC’s shared community services manager said: “We’ve all seen high-profile cases of CSE in the news, but we cannot put our heads in the sand and pretend it can’t happen in South Northants.
 
“The message is clear to abusers, the eyes and ears of the community are wide open and there is no place you can hide.”
 
Detective Inspector Richard Tompkins who heads up the RISE team said: “We have active investigations across the county including South Northamptonshire. This event was an opportunity to highlight the issues and seek support from the community so that we can better safeguard young people.
 
"We would urge the public to report incidents where they are concerned that a child is being exploited.”
 
For more information on what is being done to tackle CSE, advice and toolkits to deal with abuse, visit - http://www.northamptonshirescb.org.uk/.
 
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Comments

Nick H
At 12:40 on 7th May 2017, Nick H commented:
I think it is great that these organisations are getting together to tackle this issue. I'm not sure what facilities or departments that SNC has in place to deal with such issues though. Can somebody explain this? Does it not tend to be county controlled programmes, the police, and social services, rather than a local district council?

Nick Holder
Ian McCord
At 15:39 on 8th May 2017, Ian McCord commented:
Mr Holder, it is precisely that impression that you convey, that this is not my responsibility, but for someone else, that I am trying to overcome.

Yes, NCC has more direct contact with children’s services but what about taxi licensing which is a district responsibility. Raising awareness amongst this group of people to report suspicious activity could help prevent abuse and save lives.

What about the leisure centres and the holiday sports clubs run by SNC. All targeted at children anything that we can do to take a lead and work with other organisations to raise awareness can only be good.

This event demonstrated a great partnership working with NCC, the Police, SNC, schools, youth organisations, and the NHS all with one aim, to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and to unite to eradicate it.

I said on the night that the biggest issue we had was that of complacency. The idea that this sort of thing does not go on round here, is the biggest help to abusers. It can happen here, it does happen here and I will continue to place SNC front and centre at doing our bit.

Ian McCord
Leader - South Northamptonshire Council

Nick H
At 17:37 on 8th May 2017, Nick H commented:
Thanks you for the clarification Ian.

Any organisation, or even individual, has a responsibility to identify and report such issues, that is a given, and I am pleased that SNC are aware too. That shouldn't be something new though (and I'm pretty sure it isn't new too), and should already be in place, including DBS checks etc.

I completely accept you point that the Leisure Centre, SNC sports activities, and taxi licensing, are areas that should be considered as potential risks.

If you feel that SNC were getting complacent then it is good that you are addressing the issue, but I suspect that is certainly not what you are implying.

I do support your raising of the awareness of the risks though, many issues do tend to lose peoples focus. I would hope that one of them is not child abuse, but I often say that sometimes it is important to "state the bleedin' obvious" as people can sometimes forget.

As somebody who has been involved in youth work for some years now, had CRB and DBS checks, and training on many issue including how to identify and deal with such abuse issues, I feel any organisation involved with youth work should ensure their staff are well trained in the potential risks and solutions.

Nick Holder

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