12:30PM, Friday 27 March 2015
A total of 40 children were identified as being at risk of being sexually exploited in Windsor and Maidenhead between November 2013 and February 2015.
Of those 40, there are 13 ‘open cases’. Three of these are at ‘level three’ – the highest level, meaning the child has been the victim of a sexual offence, or an investigation is being made.
A council report heard by the children’s services overview and scrutiny panel on Wednesday reviews the Royal Borough’s approach in tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
Head of children’s services Alison Alexander told the meeting that the council assessed the cases of 40 children
The council report says that a recent internal audit and an external inspection found the borough is ‘exercising its functions’ on children and young people.
It says councillors are providing ‘adequate’ scrutiny on CSE, whistle-blowers are encouraged and liaisons with the police and health partners are ‘sufficient’.
The external investigation found no ‘attitudes of denial’ in the Royal Borough, unlike a report into Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council concluded in the wake of its CSE scandal.
The borough has identified prevention, protection and prosecution as its CSE priorities, and says work needs to be done to increase awareness.
In November the Royal Borough set up its Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), which the police agreed to join this month.
It will meet daily and allows the police, council and health services to share intelligence to tackle CSE.
The Royal Borough’s lead member for children’s services, Cllr Phillip Bicknell, said the police are integral to MASH’s success.
He said: “For example, somebody is involved in a police situation. There are children involved. The police would not actually know if we knew anything about these children, but sitting around the table on the morning after it’s happened, they’d say ‘these children are involved’, and somebody from health would say ‘we know these people’.
“Somebody from social services would say we know these children.”
Three police staff will be based full time with MASH at Maidenhead Town Hall by September or October.
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