On going Live CSE Investigations say Telford Police
Speaking today, Local Policing lead for Telford & Wrekin, Superintendent Tom Harding, said: “We want people who live and work in Telford to understand that tackling CSE in our communities is an absolute priority for us.
“We know that the public will clearly be alarmed by recent reporting and myself and our teams of officers and staff are working relentlessly to prevent young people from becoming victims and bring to justice those who do offend.
“Sadly CSE is a threat within our society today but Telford is no different to other places across the country for this and all police forces will be seeking to address this issue.
“The police and local authorities here in Telford are currently working with 46 young people who are potentially victims of CSE or who are considered to be at risk of being a victim. However, we also know that there may be other young people in our communities who are vulnerable to this type of offending or have been a victim.
“This is why today I urge people to speak to us, engage and talk to your local officers if you have concerns. We will be ensuring that your local Safer Neighbourhood Teams are visible and accessible for you to chat to if you have any concerns about this or any other crimes you suspect to be occurring or may have information relating to.
“We know that the key to tackling CSE is the bravery of victims speaking up and communities working together with us to share information.
“In the last 12 months in Telford several people have been prosecuted or charged with CSE related offences and there are a number of live investigations of this kind across the West Mercia force area ongoing.
Superintendent Harding added: “We want to continue to encourage and empower people to come forward to report the dreadful crimes committed against them whenever they happened, in the confidence that they will be listened to, they will be taken seriously, and that support and care is available.”
Officers also work closely with local health and social care professionals to spot the signs of CSE and like all police forces develop referrals from other agencies, which relate to children potentially being harmed.
Yesterday Telford & Wrekin Council asked for for a Government-commissioned independent expert public inquiry into CSE, specifically in Telford. Should the Government commission such an inquiry, West Mercia Police will fully support and engage with this alongside all of our partners.
There are established procedures in place for parents and young people to report concerns relating to child abuse and exploitation. If anyone does have any concerns, they can contact police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
This week we are supporting the National CSE Awareness Day on Sunday, 18 March. You can find out more about how we are supporting the campaign on our website or visit www.tell-someone.org for more information on recognising the signs of CSE.