Organised crime and child sexual exploitation in local communities

Last year Perpetuity Research and the Police Foundation completed research regarding the impact of organised crime on local communities. A part of this two-year research project involved exploring the impact of organised crime and child sex exploitation (CSE) in local communities. Perpetuity and the Police Foundation were able to extract information from one police force area regarding children and young people who were victims of CSE or flagged as being at risk of victimisation, and were also able to compare this with information regarding (suspected) perpetrators.

Results from this analysis demonstrated that perpetrators that appeared to operate as a group (two or more) had victimised or presented a risk to 58% of all the young people known by local police to be at risk of CSE. Furthermore, there were an estimated 43 organised crime groups linked to CSE in one key city of the police force area: a far higher number than the 6 OCGs mapped by the local police force.  In addition to the high number of organised crime groups linked to CSE, there was a high degree of interconnectivity between CSE and other types of serious crime such as the supplying of drugs, criminal exploitation, sexual exploitation for financial gain and violence.

Findings from practitioners suggest that knowledge of CSE among frontline staff was poor and there was a lack of understanding at all levels of what constitutes an OCG involved in this kind of crime.

The report on this research goes on to outline the impact of child sexual exploitation perpetrated by groups, as well as the current response to CSE and recommendations for the future. To find out more about this research, please click here.

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