Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°C

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.

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.”

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

Terminally ill Skye Biggs, pictured with her mother Lana Heath and brother together with Felixstowe Mayor and consort Jan and Jon Garfield and Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service and Felixstowe Rugby club, who teamed up to do a charity boat pull at The Prom, Felixstowe  to help raise cash to send Skye and her family to Peppa Pig World. 
Picture: Stephen Waller 
www.stephenwaller.com

Family of a five-year-old terminally-ill little girl had a simple message for the public today – thank you for making her dream come true!

Binge-drinker's night out ban

A binge-drinking plasterer has been banned from going out on Fridays and Saturdays after assaulting a police officer while being drunk and disorderly.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A Felixstowe bricklayer told magistrates he was ashamed after swearing at police while drunk and telling them taking him to court would be a waste of time.

Readers have shared their Pigs Gone Wild selfies and family photos as the trail reaches its final few days in Ipswich

We will miss them when they are gone but there are still seven days left to see the pigs in situ around Ipswich town centre.

Former Felixstowe councillor Dot Paddick

Tributes have been paid to a former community leader, described by her colleagues as colourful and charismatic, who has died at the age of 79.

Ipswich Crown Court

A dishonest Ipswich man who was caught by police after his DNA was found at the scene of two break-ins and a theft has been jailed for 20 months.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A motorcyclist has been injured in a crash which blocked a road on the Suffolk/Norfolk border today.

And indicative perspective of what a new retirement homes on the 30 Lower Brook Street site, might look like.
Development plans are going out for consultation.
The site is currently Archant's newspaper offices.

A public exhibition will give local residents Ipswich residents the opportunity to view and comment on McCarthy and Stone’s preliminary proposals to redevelop land between Lower Brook Street and Turret Lane.

Walberswick. Picture: Barry Pullen

A Suffolk council which has struggled for six years with long-running disputes and mass resignations is proposing to disband in favour of a form of “direct democracy”.

File picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service fire engines.

Fire crews have been called to help a young pony that has become trapped in a ditch in Palgrave, on the Suffolk and Norfolk border.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24