In April 2014 Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary commissioned The Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) in the School of Social Work at the University of East Anglia to undertake a research study to explore the perspectives and experiences of police officers working in Norfolk with young people involved in, or at risk of, involvement in sexual exploitation (CSE). The objective was to increase understanding of what works well, what works less well and to identify any gaps in policy, procedure or practice, in order to inform service provision

Key Findings:

What Works Well - Four areas stood out as particular strengths in police officers’ work with children and young people involved in CSE. These included officers’:

- Sense of commitment to and passion for CSE work

- Awareness of the vulnerability of young people involved in CSE, including awareness of the links between victimisation and offending

- Recognition of three categories of young people involved in internet abuse; ‘naïve’ victims ’wise’ victims and ‘naïve’ offenders.

- Understanding that prevention and proactive early intervention is key

Conclusion

Although this study has shown that there are identifiable difficulties, pressures and tensions for police officers in Norfolk working in this complex area, what is clearly evident is the high level of commitment to safeguarding, listening to and understanding children and young people at risk of child sexual exploitation.

To read the full report you can click on this link - An examination of the perspectives and experiences of police officers working with children and young people at risk of, or involved in, child sexual exploitation