How Leeds is dealing with CSE and how to report concerns

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is one of many forms of organised and family based child abuse that the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership is working to prevent. CSE - like all other forms of sexual abuse - is happening everywhere in the country, including in Leeds.

In Leeds we are well aware of the challenges we are facing. As a partnership we are working hard together to protect children and young people who may be at risk of CSE, to disrupt the activity of potential perpetrators and to obtain convictions wherever possible. We provide training for professionals and are part of a West Yorkshire campaign to raise public awareness about the risks of CSE; how to identify the signs when it might be happening to someone you know and; who to contact for help.

Click here to find out the current action being undertaken in Leeds to tackle CSE.

The complexities of child sexual exploitation mean that it is not a straightforward challenge to address or one that can be dealt with quickly or by a single agency, which is why in Leeds, we have a partnership approach with input and support from many agencies.

In 2012 we set up a sub-committee to specifically lead on and co-ordinate the work being undertaken on CSE and significant progress is being made in increasing our understanding of, and responding to, the nature and scale of exploitation in Leeds. However, there is still a long way to go and we are not complacent about the scale of the challenge that we face.

What remains paramount, for all agencies, is that the needs of the young victims are at the forefront of our work, and that they are listened to and their views and concerns are acted upon.

For information about what to do and how to respond as a professional see CSE Protocols.

If you are concerned that someone you know is being sexually exploited / abused or you are being exploited / abused we would urge you to talk to either West Yorkshire Police (0113 385 9590) or Leeds Council Children’s Social Work Service (0113 222 4403). Someone will be able to talk to you about it.

If you are an adult and suffered sexual exploitation / abuse as a child or young person deciding whether to report it now can be a daunting prospect and you may have various questions and reservations. However, for many adults making the decision to report the abuse they suffered as a child can be helpful.

If you make the decision to report historic exploitation / abuse, the matter will be treated seriously and with sensitivity. As well as investigating the matter thoroughly, professionals will enable you to access support to help you through the process.

You can report your past experiences by contacting West Yorkshire Police or Leeds City Council Children’s Social Work Service on the telephone numbers provided above.

Where else to get help

The NSPCC has a free helpline which as an adult you can contact trained NSPCC practitioners at any time for advice and support. The number is 0808 800 5000, you can also contact the helpline in a number of other ways, for more information visit the NSPCC website.

NAPAC - NAPAC is the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, providing a helpline and support to people who experienced past abuse.

Support line: 0800 085 3330 (times vary on different days - see website for details and for free phone numbers for different mobile phone networks) 

The Survivors Trust (TST) is a national umbrella agency for over 135 specialist rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse support organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.