Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Police prostitution strategy ‘could have stopped grooming rings’

09:34 09 July 2014

Alan Caton after he received his Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal following an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Alan Caton after he received his Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal following an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

The unique approach of police in Ipswich and Suffolk to prostitution could have prevented widespread child grooming in the county similar to that which took place in Rochdale and Oxford.

shares

That was the assessment of a former senior police officer at a conference which looked at the success of Suffolk Constabulary’s strategy for dealing with prostitution.

Alan Caton OBE, who was the police lead for the strategy when it began, said that its emphasis on prevention, particularly among young people, could have stopped the development of organised child grooming rings.

“Going back to 2006 when we wrote prevention into the strategy, it was long before some of these cases,” he said.

“So we were actually targeting and identifying vulnerable young people back in 2006 whereas in the last three or four years you’ve had really significant cases across the country.”

The Ipswich and Suffolk Joint Agency Strategy was implemented in the wake of the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich in 2006.

It focused on clamping down on kerb-crawlers while the Make A Change multi-agency team offers women routes out of the trade and tries to prevent young vulnerable girls from becoming involved.

The Make A Change team will now be placed within Suffolk County Council’s Children and Young People’s Services to focus even more on prevention.

Mr Caton said the police didn’t know in 2006 how many youngsters were at risk of grooming in Suffolk.

However since 2007 there have been 279 referrals of children between the age of eight and 18 to the Make A Change team, including five boys in the last 12 months.

When asked if the prostitution strategy could have prevented child grooming gangs from operating in Suffolk, Mr Caton said: “I think it could have done. There have been a number of positive cases, we’ve had cases where men have gone to court and have been convicted of trafficking, certainly in my time.

“So I think the agencies have been working together to identify these, there’s been a lot of training of frontline practitioners, in policing, in care services, in social care to identify the signs that children may be being exploited.

“Are they going missing? Are they associating with older men? Are they coming back with gifts that they can’t explain? All these things are triggers if you like to give a frontline practitioner (reason to say): ‘I think I need to refer that because this child may be at harm’.

“So it’s really important that we continue that work so it doesn’t just stop, it’s ongoing all the time.”

shares

2 comments

  • Can't even get the title of what an OBE is Right ! Where do IpswichStar get their journalists ?

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • "Could have". In other words, "we've got no evidence it DID, but we're going to make the claim anyway".

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Antony Gormley statue at Aldeburgh Martello Tower.

A figure standing with arms folded will stare defiantly out to sea from the battlements of one of Suffolk’s coastal fortresses for the next 12 months.

General view of Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court

A Suffolk woman who left her dogs to bark so excessively that her neighbours felt like moving out of 
their home has been ordered to 
pay more than £2,000 by 
magistrates.

Abellio Greater Anglia

A number of rail services to and from London have been cancelled after a person was hit by a train at Romford.

The names Milibond, Ed Milibond

The message is clear – young people are rising up to reject a negative politics 
of smear, writes Matt Gaw

The Hatchfield Farm site in Newmarket

A man with 17 years’ experience in Newmarket’s horseracing industry has hit out at its failures to uphold its own safety advice at the Hatchfield Farm planning inquiry.

Ambulance called after child on bike hit by car.

A child has been taken to hospital with minor injuries after being hit by a car this morning.

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker

Check your medical stocks, remember your allergy medication and dress for the weather, warn ambulance chiefs this weekend as they prepare for a surge in calls.

Peter Tryon, left, receiving a long service award, on his 30th anniversary as director of music, from Bishop Clive, the former Bishop of Dunwich.

In three decades, retiring Bury St Edmunds church organist and musical director Peter Tryon has seen things change drastically.

Top chef James Martin at the launch of his new eatery at Stansted Airport.

Restaurants are investing in something different for their outlets at Stansted Airport.

Thurston Community College Principle Helen Wilson.

schools in Suffolk are set to have more than 100 spare places for Year 7 pupils this September, new figures have revealed.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages