Professionals on a webinar about sexual exploitation

There are countless frontline professionals who work with children and other people potentially vulnerable to exploitation across Bedfordshire.

Tackling organised crime is everyone’s business. We all have a responsibility to recognise vulnerability and take action to keep people in our communities safe.

Below are some key resources for use by different professionals across the county.

We also know there is a wealth of services and resources out there which are doing great work in our communities to help and support those potentially vulnerable to exploitation.

The Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit has collated a list of these local services on their website.

A similarly helpful list is available on the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership website.

We would also encourage professionals to familiarise themselves with the Home Office’s Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit.

Multi-agency information submission form

The multi agency information submission form is the recognised way for different agencies across Bedfordshire to record information about potential exploitation in Bedfordshire and share it across different agencies in the county.

Ownership belongs to the county’s three local authorities, local safeguarding boards and other trained professional agency and charity providers in Bedfordshire.

If you would like more information about the form or for your agency to receive training, please contact Bedfordshire Police’s child sexual exploitation coordinator Pete Gomm.

Child Exploitation Tool

The Bedfordshire Child Exploitation Tool aims to help practitioners focus on specific exploitation indicators and determine whether further investigations are needed by children’s social care and Bedfordshire Police.

This tool therefore informs both assessment of need, planning and referrals to children’s social care. This tool should be attached to your children’s social care referral regarding a potential child exploitation case.

The tool is to be used within a multi-agency way. All practitioners working with the child should complete the information they are aware of. The main aim is to ensure there is a safety plan in place for the child or family.

A professionals meeting should be held to gather relevant information to complete the tool. The same process should be followed when reviewing the tool.

When considering the views of parents and the child or young person we advise gathering information and not sharing the whole document, as there will be sensitive information recorded about others within the tool. 

Child exploitation guidance

This guidance takes you through the process you need to follow if you have a concern about a child or young person being a victim of child exploitation or if you have any information about perpetrator(s) or concerns about locations being used for exploiting young people.

The purpose of this guidance is to enable practitioners to:

  • Work together and respond with partners locally and across Bedfordshire, to protect children and prevent exploitation in a unified and measured approach.
  • Gather evidence about victims or those at risk, perpetrators or locations where child exploitation is taking place across the county, to support police investigations and prosecutions.
  • Recognise the various forms of child exploitation and identify victims who may be at risk of exploitation.

Adult exploitation guidance

The aim of our Adult Exploitation Guidance is to provide a shared means of reference across Bedfordshire regarding adult exploitation as well as some guidance for spotting the signs of exploitation.

This includes case studies of people’s experiences of exploitation, information regarding how to report exploitation, links to legislation and an appendix of organisations in Bedfordshire, which can support a person experiencing exploitation, including third sector.

It is hoped that this tool will enable practitioners to:

  • Work together with partners locally and across Bedfordshire to protect vulnerable adults and prevent exploitation in an informed and unified way.
  • Gather evidence about victims, perpetrators or locations where adult exploitation is taking place across the county, which will support police investigations and prosecutions.
  • Recognise the various forms of adult exploitation and identify victims and vulnerable adults who may be at risk of exploitation.

This guide should be used in conjunction with your local safeguarding guidance and not as a standalone document. The indicators provided are not exhaustive and as such, professional curiosity and observation as standard practice cannot be emphasised enough.