Last year, there were 60,000 reports made to the police about children who had been groomed, sexually exploited, exploited for criminal activity and trafficked by adults in England and Wales. These 60,000 are just the cases that the police and authorities know about. Experience tells them that most abuse doesn’t ever come to their attention.
The scale of this criminal activity is enormous. It is very well organised and often involves dangerous criminal gangs. It isn’t just the cases that we see in the news, there are thousands of incidents that go on unreported by the press, every day.
Organisations such as the NWG, social services, the police, charities and projects around the United Kingdom work tirelessly to raise awareness, to identify this activity, to support those involved through the criminal process and recovery process and to educate children, young people and families about the dangers of becoming a target for gangs.
As part of the work carried out by these ‘first response’ agencies, referrals are often made to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) framework, which is focused on identifying potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery and signposting support for victims. Referrals are made into the framework either via the National Crime Agency’s Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit or the Home Office Visas and Immigration. In cases involving adults, referrals can only take place with the victim’s consent. In incidents involving children however, consent is not required.
At the Unsung Heroes Awards 2019, which took place at the NWG Annual Conference this week, awards were made to various projects around England and Wales that need to be recognised for the work they do each and every day with young people. They are:
- Working Together Award – Barnardos West Midlands Panel for the Protection of Trafficked Children
- Inspiring Voices Award – DH
- Helping Hand Award – Carmel Bartlett & Jayne Pezzulo, Doncaster Child Exploitation Team
- Safer Environments Award – Joanne Ross, Lorraine Brook, Adele Baran, Alison Ryan, Bobbi Hughes, Lucy Nowlin & Tanja Boulongne – The Safe project
Price Slater Gawne were proud to once again be involved in the annual NWG conference this week in Nottingham. It was promising to see so many agencies working to tackle child sexual exploitation and the numerous issues surrounding this. It is such an incredibly important issue to raise awareness of, that can truly affect any individual and family.
The team at Price Slater Gawne are committed to working with survivors to help them access compensation for the physical and psychological injuries that they have sustained through such abuse.