Added on 24 March 2016 at 14:09
Today (24/03) sees the publication of the serious case review (SCR) for Operation Brooke, a large-scale police investigation into the sexual exploitation of children in Bristol which began in May 2013.
At the conclusion of two trials at Bristol Crown Court in November 2014, thirteen offenders were sentenced for a total of 116 years.
During the course of the investigation a serious case review was commissioned by Bristol Local Children’s Safeguarding Board and another unnamed LCSB to learn from the multi-agency handling of the case – the report is available here.
In considering our police response, the reviewers recognised the success of the major police investigation once it was underway, but identified some shortcomings in the early handling of aspects of victim disclosures where signs of child sexual exploitation were taken to be under-age sexual activity and the intelligence picture was not joined up.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Kay Wozniak said: “Others have already paid tribute to these young victims but I want to add my voice to theirs. The courage and bravery they showed was remarkable. We should not lose sight of how difficult it must have been for them to speak out and live through their ordeal once again in court.
“Their voices come through loud and clear. We should listen hard to what they have to say – ask, and ask again. Don’t take no for an answer, and don’t make judgements about what you see on the surface. Look beyond and see the vulnerable child beneath who needs our help.
“We’ve learnt a great deal in the last four years about child sexual exploitation and child abuse. Now we’re much better able to spot the links, join up the intelligence and, alongside our partners, see a fuller picture. But we’re not complacent. Serious case reviews such as these are enormously valuable and we’ll continue to learn as long as there’s more we can do to put a halt to exploitation.”
If you suspect a child or young person may be at risk, or have any information relating to child sexual exploitation, please contact us.
We would prefer to speak to you on the phone (by calling us on 101) or in person. However, if contacting us online is the safest way for you to get in touch, you can complete our secure online reporting form.
Important: If you know or suspect a child or young person is in immediate danger, you should dial 999 straight away.
The NSPCC provide a wide range of services for both children, young people and adults, including national helplines staffed by trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help and advice.
0800 1111 (ChildLine)
0808 800 5000 (Support for parents and carers) http://www.nspcc.org.uk
Children’s charity Barnardo’s support children, young people and families affected by issues such as sexual exploitation and domestic abuse.
BASE (Barnardo's Against Sexual Exploitation) is a Barnardo’s project in Bristol which supports victims of child sexual exploitation. http://www.barnardos.org.uk
CEOP safety centre
Over half of sexual exploitation happens online. If someone has acted inappropriately online towards you, a child or young person, or someone you know, find out what to do, and how to report it to police, by visiting the CEOP safety centre. http://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/