‘Peer on peer’ child exploitation highlighted as concern in the South West

March 18th, 2019 by

Children across the south west are victims of sexual exploitation.  But while media reports often highlight cases of adult grooming and child abuse, Devon and Cornwall Police say the most likely form of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the south west is perpetrated by other young people.

It’s sometimes referred to as ‘peer on peer’ exploitation, and its victims are young males and young females.

“People may be unaware that CSE can be perpetrated by young people aged 18 or younger, and they themselves may also have been victims of CSE,” says Detective Chief Inspector Alison Lander, Devon & Cornwall Police and Force lead for CSE.

Recent research led by Plymouth’s Safeguarding Children’s Board found little awareness and understanding among young people of peer on peer sexual exploitation.

Their research showed that this form of exploitation in particular was not widely recognised or understood as a crime, which is preventing children from reporting it.

They found that young people are also not reporting sexual exploitation because they worry that doing so would lose them friendships; they’re concerned about how their parents might react; or that they’ll be seen as wasting police time.

Monday 18 March is a national awareness day for highlighting CSE.  Authorities across the South West are using the day to say to children and young people, “If you are put in a situation where you feel pressured sexually, please report it.  It’s OK to tell someone.”

Lisa, (not her real name).

Lisa is 15 years old and lives with her mother.  She began to go missing, leaving the house during the middle of the night to meet peers, and there were concerns about her drinking alcohol during while out.

Her behaviour in school and at home deteriorated with no clear reason.   Her mum found information on Lisa’s phone, indicating that she had become sexually active,  and having unprotected sex.

Lisa said that she’d exchanged indecent images of herself with some of boys at her school.

On occasions that she went missing, Lisa was drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis with her male friends.  She’d had sex with one of the boys while under the influence, and he’d told his friends about it.

Lisa started getting messages from other boys asking her to send pictures of herself in her underwear.  Lisa felt uncomfortable, but said ‘everyone sends nudes’.  And besides, she felt it was nice to have boys be interested in her in that way.

One boy said that he could get some cannabis, and he offered some to Lisa in exchange for sex.  She’s thought he was joking, but the boy repeated it a few times and on a later occasion with him, she went along with what he asked.

Regional Head of Service for the NSPCC, Sharon Copsey, says:  “Having early conversations about healthy relationships and consent is vital to tackling child sexual exploitation before it starts. We know that young people don’t always understand that what’s happening to them is abuse.”

Detective Chief Inspector Alison Lander, said: “Many young people who are being exploited do not realise they are at risk and will not ask for help.  Some may see themselves as willing participants in such abuse, not realising that what is happening to them is illegal.  It’s a difficult message to convey to young people, but it’s really important that they are aware of risk and how to avoid it.  Crucially they need to know how to report it, and to have confidence to do so.

“The public can really help us detect and prevent CSE among young people by knowing the signs and reporting any concerns they have.

“It’s not just parents, or teachers and carers who can help spot the signs of CSE.  Anyone working in a service industry, such as taxi drivers and hotel workers, shop keepers; anyone who may be able to spot vulnerable young people who may be at risk of exploitation or in an exploitative relationship – can also help to spot the signs and to report any concerns.”

Andy Bickley, Independent Chair of Plymouth Safeguarding Children’s Board, said: “We are committed to working with local organisations to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation and CSE Day is the ideal opportunity to help improve awareness.

“This latest research shows that it isn’t just adults that exploit children and young people, it can also be their peers, so it’s really important that we make sure our young people know what the dangers are, and also what support is available.”

Schools across the South West and services that work with young people are actively raising awareness of CSE among young people.  Parents and guardians are being encouraged to do the same at home.

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National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day 18th March 2019

March 8th, 2019 by

Safeguarding children and young people to the age of 25 from sexual AND criminal exploitation is a key priority for Safer Cornwall, the Safeguarding Children Partnership, and Safeguarding Adults Board.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people into sexual activity – March 18 2019, is National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day which aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Sexual Exploitation and encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse – we are also widening the scope to think about criminal exploitation, county lines, trafficking and modern slavery.

We want to raise awareness of child exploitation: knowing the signs, how to report it, and where to get help.

We will be part of a social media campaign in the days leading up to and including the 18th March 2019 – you can sign up to the National Working Group on Twitter https://twitter.com/NatWorGroup or Facebook https://en-gb.facebook.com/TheNWGNetwork/ or visit their website http://www.stop-cse.org/ and look out for our local social media campaign!

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Carbon monoxide detectors supplied by Wales and West Utilities

March 7th, 2019 by

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Community Safety Service (CFRCCS) has created a new partnership with Wales and West Utilities (WWU). WWU are the gas emergency and pipeline service that covers Wales and south west England and as part of their social obligation have joined with CFRCCS to help make Cornwall Safer.

As part of this new partnership, WWU have supplied CFRCSS with a number of Carbon Monoxide Detectors for staff to fit, in accordance with WWU criteria, when carrying out Home Fire Safety Checks (HFSC’s) or Living Safe and Well Visits (LSWV).

 

 

 

WWU criteria outlines that the free CO detectors will be available to people living with:

  • A serious health condition,
  • Mobility issues,
  • Living in a cold home,
  • Fuel poverty
  • Evidence of damp and condensation

When a Co detector is fitted in a home, a WWU Customer Survey form will be completed by the resident and the forms will then be returned to WWU to allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of the partnership in a bid to secure future free CO detectors for those people most in need in Cornwall.

For further information regarding this new partnership please contact Watch Manager Mark Grenfell: Mark.Grenfell@fire.cornwall.gov.uk

 

 

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Safer Cornwall Training Programme 2019-20

March 6th, 2019 by

Accessible training to help identify risk, reduce harm and support people in the process of change.

The DAAT offers a range of training opportunities to improve knowledge, skills, awareness and joint working across a range of areas, particularly mental health. The courses are available to internal and external staff and run throughout the year.

 

 

We offer the following courses:

  • Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice
  • Basic Drug Awareness
  • Connect 5 Mental Wellbeing Stage 1
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Time Credits and Supporting Asset Based Working
  • Young People’s Substance Awareness & Screening

For more information please visit our page here

Email: DAATevents@cornwall.gov.uk

Telephone: 01726 223400

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Cornwall Licensing Policy update

February 6th, 2019 by

On January 22nd, after being proposed by the Cornwall Licensing Act Committee, Cornwall Council voted in an updated Alcohol Licensing Policy Statement. This will now be in place for the next 5 years, setting the tone for how alcohol should be sold in Cornwall.

This new policy, which can be seen in full here, embeds some important work that has been undertaken by Cornwall’s Public Health and Community Safety teams in the last 3 years.

Local Authority Public Health Departments have been a Licensing Responsible Authority since 2012, but nationally had relatively little input into Licensing cases and culture.

This gap was addressed by Public Health England (PHE) in the initial Local Alcohol Action Areas and then in their ‘Health as a Licensing Objective’ (HaLO) pilot schemes.

Cornwall was invited by PHE to participate in the 2016-17 HaLO pilot scheme, and we created a postcode responsive tool that can help to quickly assess the alcohol related risks in any given area.

 

This HaLO tool, now renamed the ‘Health Impact Licensing Tool’ (HILT) has been seen as a national example of good practice, used in PHE webinars, presented to the Local Government Association and the House of Lords Licensing Committee, and to the academic ‘United Kingdom Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies’ (UKCTAS).

The HILT tool has been used operationally to evaluate Cornwall’s Cumulative Impact Zones, and to contribute contextual evidence to a License revocation case against a premises in a violent hotspot within a Cumulative Impact Zone.

After a draft and consultation led by Julie Flower of CC Licensing team, the new Cornwall 5 year Licensing Policy Statement was voted through unopposed by full Council yesterday 22/01/19.

 

From a Public Health and Community Safety perspective, this policy:

  1. Embeds work done in the last 3 years,
  2. Puts these achievements into written policy, and
  3. Makes them a standard part of Cornwall Licensing policy and culture for the next 5 years.

This includes:

  • Public Health as a standard aspect of Licensing and alcohol retail (p6-7);
  • National guidance on responsible drinking, which can then be used to critique irresponsible drink promotions (p7);
  • The 10 Safer Towns initiative to address wider issues (p10);
  • ‘What Will Your Drink Cost?’ as an ongoing available flexible targeted messaging brand and campaign (p10);
  • Cumulative Impact Policies and mapping (p11 and 47);
  • The protection of children from harm (p21 and 66);
  • Public Health as a Responsible Authority (p49-51), including:
    • Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions;
    • The impact of alcohol in Cornwall;
    • HILT – The ‘Health Impact Licensing Tool’;
    • ARID – The ‘Assault Related Injuries Database’; and
    • Alcohol retail quality standards.
  • Drugs policies (p59-60), and
  • The responsibility of premises to have a supply of ‘spikies’ to raise awareness and keep customers safe (p65).

This now normalises pilot work that has been undertaken by the DAAT, Public Health, Safer Cornwall and Amethyst Community Safety Intelligence, allowing it to have long term application and impact in Licensing and Alcohol retail in Cornwall.

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Cornwall’s 2018 festive alcohol safety messaging …

February 6th, 2019 by

Over Christmas and New Year, a series of alcohol responsibility messages went out under the hashtags #CornwallChristmas and #CornwallPartyTime

These were all based on messages in the campaign webpage “Party Time”.

The themes covered were the lack of a December Drinking Superpower, having a Safe Night Out, Drink Driving facts, precautions against spiking for customers and Bars, walking away from trouble rather than becoming an imaginary drunk UN, all promoted under the long running Safer Cornwall message of ‘What Will Your Drink Cost?’


The messages were picked up on the Alcohol Strategy Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as the Cornwall Council and Public Health social media.

The most widely read posts were this drink driving Facebook message, this ‘Walk Away‘ Twitter post, and this Spiking message.

The spiking messages also picked up a lot of views on the Cornwall Council Social Media.

Overall, the messages reached a total of about 40,000 hits, highlighted the issues people are most concerned about, and have given us pointers for this year’s messages.

 

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Alcohol Pathways – Visit from Central Government 16th January

January 28th, 2019 by

James McGowan, Government Policy Advisor and Glasha Frank, Department of Health, Patient Flow and Access Team, who are developing national alcohol pathways came to see the work in Cornwall, which has been commended to them, and to meet the teams and commissioner responsible.The external team met with Liz Farrington, Consultant Nurse Hepatology, alongside representatives from the Alcohol Liaison Team, Addaction Hospital Outreach Team, Safeguarding leads and patients. The visit was co-ordinated by Kim Hager, Joint Commissioning Manager from the Drug and Alcohol Action Team.

Glasha Frank ‘Thanks for the thought and effort‎ that went into today. It was invaluable being able to hear and appreciate what goes into making a local initiative work, and the range of people we were able to speak to made it quite an insightful visit. Its given me quite a bit of food for thought and accounts to draw on to help build up the wider work around frequent attenders.

Hearing from ‘Patient x’ was particularly memorable.

James Magowan wrote:  ‘A massive thanks for all your time and input today, a really beneficial visit. Thanks too to Jez for the taxi work back and forth to the station! Please pass on thanks also to the Addaction team and others at the hospital for their time and input.

A fantastic opportunity to see the impact that Life Chances Fund money, alongside your own, is having for vulnerable people. I was particularly struck by the journey  the patient we met  outlined and really pleased that she will shortly be 1 year without drinking. I appreciate her journey pre-dates LCF, but it was clear from the various calls Lee needed to take that, unfortunately, there are many others who are in the position she had found herself. Please ask Addaction folk to pass on thanks to her for time and willingness to share.

Liz Farrington, who leads the hospital alcohol liaison team, said “This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase true multi-agency working from acute care through to the community. We have developed significant partnerships, with particular emphasis on frequent attenders and those with co-existing drug or mental health problems, and complex physical needs such as decompensated cirrhosis and alcohol related brain injury. Whilst we still have gaps in some services we are all committed to reducing unwarranted variation in this group of patients, in line with the NHS long term plan”.

The visit was based upon the national recognition of the creative work that is being developed and delivered by partners in Cornwall, reflecting everyone’s determination. It has also given us the opportunity to highlight areas which continue to prove challenging and would benefit from multi department guidance.

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Safety prevention videos

December 7th, 2018 by

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service have created a series of fire safety prevention videos, which will be launched through the CFRCSS Facebook page to target the biggest causes of accidental dwelling fires to improve knowledge, awareness and change behaviour promoting fire safety advice in the home during the festive season.

Look out for each days festive tips 🎄 HERE

 

 

 

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Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence training programme

December 7th, 2018 by

Safer Cornwall are delighted to announce that our new Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence training programme will be available from January 2019.

The training is open to staff from any organisation, free of charge and at a variety of venues across Cornwall.

There are 3 levels available:

  • Level 1: Half Day Basic Domestic Abuse awareness & how to respond

To provide staff who work regularly with adults, children and young people and are required to have an understanding of what domestic abuse is and how to respond.

  • Level 2: Full Day Domestic Abuse Awareness Course for Health professionals
  • Level 2: Full Day Domestic Abuse Awareness Course to professionals in Safeguarding roles

To provide staff with knowledge and skills to work directly with victims of domestic abuse, awareness of the sensitivity of issues of domestic abuse and awareness of working with perpetrators of domestic abuse and introduction to DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model)

  • Level 3: Specialist Full day courses to professionals working with victims – Domestic Abuse/DASH training

For professionals who work closely with victims of Domestic Abuse  and/or have a safeguarding role. This training is suitable for those who have a good underpinning knowledge of Domestic Abuse or who have attended our level 2 Domestic Abuse Awareness training. It includes full training in DASH.

DASV Level 3 (DASH Training) dates are available to book now at :

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/barnardos-safer-futures-18214164864

Dates/venues for Level 1 and 2 training will be added to Eventbrite by the end of December 2018.

We strongly recommend booking early to secure your place.

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Rural Domestic Abuse Research Survey

November 22nd, 2018 by

We are pleased to support one of the largest surveys looking into Domestic Abuse in the UK and would like to provide this opportunity for any of our clients or former clients to opt in to this National Survey. Your experience when taken alongside that of hundreds of other people who have had similar or contrasting experiences helps to provide an accurate picture of Domestic Abuse across our county as well as contributing to a more national picture.

The survey should take around 5-10 minutes to complete. No personal details will be taken in this survey, so your response will be anonymous. If you feel you can help please click on the link below:

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4678535/DVA-Survey

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