Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Child sexual exploitation is the ‘norm’, warns inquiry

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) has become a ‘social norm’ in parts of Greater Manchester and tackling it will require a “sea change” in public and professional attitudes, a report by Stockport MP Ann Coffey has warned.

In her Real Voices report, ordered by Greater Manchester police and crime commissioner following the Rochdale CSE scandal, Coffey warns that young girls face “a worrying amount of unwanted attention and touching from men in the street” and feel under pressure from social media to do things they are uncomfortable with.

“Sexting, selfies, Instagram and the like have given rise to new social norms in changed expectations of sexual entitlement, and with it a confused understanding of what constitutes consent,” the Labour MP concluded.

Young girls interviewed for the report told of getting “approached all the time” when in school uniform and men who “do not care how old you are”.

They also told Coffey that they saw little point in reporting incidents to the police. “You do not report it because who is going to do anything? It happens so much I do not see the point,” said one girl.

Another told of how she was exploited by a 19-year-old when she was 12: “I lost my virginity to him and when my foster parent found out she said, ‘Why are you being a slag?’”

One youth worker interview quoted in the report said: “I find it scary and it is becoming more and more common. You can see in the girls’ eyes that they are scared and are being controlled.”

Flouting guidance

The report said Greater Manchester Police recorded 12,879 sexual offences against under 16s between 2008 and 2013 but these led to proceedings against only 2,341 defendants and 1,078 convictions. One in 10 of CSE crimes currently under investigation in Greater Manchester involved multiple perpetrators.

The report concluded that the work of social workers, police and other professionals alone will not be enough to tackle the problem and called for the whole community, including young people, to be engaged in the effort to protect children from abusers.

However Coffey said local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) and schools are avoiding the issue for fear of bad publicity.

“There has been a reluctance to talk about child sexual exploitation by LSCBs and schools because they do not want to been seen to have a ‘Rochdale’ problem,” she said.

“The result is that the public is ill-informed about CSE and is therefore not able to play a full role in protecting children. I was disappointed that only 6 out of 10 LSCBs responded to my question about the incidence and trends of CSE in their area.”

The report also said that some independent children’s homes are flouting government guidance by failing to alert councils when children move in from other areas. It said that there should be spot checks on homes to ensure that they are following the guidance in addition to Ofsted inspections.

Other recommendations included:

Care provision for 16 and 17 year olds to be registered and inspected by Ofsted
The appointment of a ‘CSE Champion’ to develop joint working across local authorities, police divisions and clinical commissioning groups in Greater Manchester
Scrapping laws that mean children can face criminal charges for loitering or soliciting for prostitution

Story courtesy of Community Care

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

26 calls per day to helpline about CSE


There have been 26 contacts to the NSPCC helpline a day on average from people concerned about child sexual exploitation and abuse.

This reached a record high of 4,735 reports from people concerned that a child is or has been sexually exploited and/or abused, a 36% increase in the first six months of 2021/22 when [...]

Read Full Story

Expert children’s professionals who are expert bakers


The Great British Bake Off team has contacted WillisPalmer to see if we know any professionals working in the children’s services sector who fancy applying to appear on the show next year.

The Bake Off, which airs on Channel 4, is asking if you have got what it takes to bake in the tent as [...]

Read Full Story

Number of local authority-run children’s homes decreases


The number of children’s homes in the private and voluntary sector has increased, while the number of local-authority run residential homes for children has decreased, the latest statistics reveal.

Ofsted’s report showed that between 1 April and 31 August 2021, there was a net increase of 69 homes representing a 3% increase from 2,707 to [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram