Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 17°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

Pre season training starts at ITFC

Ipswich Town kicked off their pre-season preparations this morning, ahead of the 2015-16 Championship campaign.

Joan Hassell is captain of the over 65s Great Britian team and is taking part in her 60th Framlingham Tennis Tournament this August.

Tennis enthusiast and captain of the Great Britain’s over-75s team Joan Hassell is calling on young and old to take part in the 132nd Framlingham Tennis Tournament.

The scene of the accident in Head Street, Colchester. in which Cassie McCord was killed.

A bereaved mother whose teenage daughter was mowed down by an 87-year-old motorist has welcomed the growing use of road safety measures inspired by her death.

Fore Street swimming pool in a Victorian photograph taken soon after the opening in 1894.

Just a stone’s throw from the waterfront of the former Ipswich Docks with its chic bars and bistros, trendy dance studios and ultra-modern apartment blocks stands Fore Street swimming baths.

Archant Suffolk photographer Sarah Lucy Brown shares an image of sunny Aldeburgh on her Instagram account

This week temperatures could rise to a sweltering 33C in East Anglia.

The flats and Tesco in Duke Street in Ipswich where Cardoso waved a gun around. Photograph Simon Parker

A drunk man who told armed police to shoot him after he was seen waving a gun around in Ipswich has been jailed.

Daphne the cat has been waiting for a new home for more than a year - and is now one of the 15 most Overlooked Rescue Cats in the UK.

A cat being cared for by animal-lovers in Suffolk is one of the hardest-to-home felines in the country – and has been waiting for more than a year to find new owners.

Chelmsford Crown Court

An alleged child abuse victim has told a court his life has been ruined and that he feels “dirty” after what was done to him.

Police appeal after woman followed by suspicious man.

A man wearing dark clothing and white gloves who was following a woman on a footpath in Colchester ran off when two male passers-by shouted at him.

There is nothing for the youth of Sudbury to do

Young people are feeling increasingly “isolated” and are getting involved in antisocial behaviour because there is not enough for them to do in their west Suffolk town, it has been claimed.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages