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High praise for police team in the fight against child sexual exploitation

A team of Special Constables have been praised for their ongoing work across Nottinghamshire.
A team of Special Constables have been praised for their ongoing work across Nottinghamshire.

A team of Special Constables have been praised for their ongoing work across the force over the past 12 months.

The Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) - Disruption Team is made up of Special Constables who work alongside Public Protection officers from the Sexual Exploitation Investigation Unit and respond to intelligence reports, whilst pro-actively targeting known CSE hotspots.

The team also undertakes arrest attempts, executes warrants and serves Child Abduction Warning Notices (CAWNS) as well as deploying other disruption tactics to tackle CSE offenders.

Over the past year, the team has arrested a number of suspects, submitted dozens of pieces of intelligence and acted on hundreds more, conducting hundreds of routine visits to venues across the county.

Special Sergeant Neil Healey heads up the team and works closely with partner agencies and departments across the force.

He said: “CSE is an increasingly high-profile issue that affects children and young people of all backgrounds and from all communities, right across the UK.

“It is important that here in Nottinghamshire, like in other counties, we develop a proactive approach to child protection.

“The CSE Disruption Team has been an immense success over the past 12 months, visiting CSE hotspots, protecting children and disrupting offenders, and the next 12 months will hopefully see the team grow and expand further.”

The number of CAWNs issued has also increased four-fold since the creation of the team, resulting in dozens of suspected offenders being actively challenged and, where appropriate, brought to justice.

Special Sergeant Healey added: “Our team also attend multi-agency meetings with the NSPCC alongside partners from Nottingham City Council, Children Homes and other agencies to share information and intelligence about known offenders and those at risk of CSE.”

More than 2,500 hours have been volunteered by the team of Specials involved in this initiative, providing Public Protection with additional resources and capability – and now the force is set to recruit additional Special Constables to the team.

Acknowledging the ongoing work of the team, Chief Inspector Shaun Ostle, head of the force’s Citizens in Policing Department, said: “This is a great example of how members of the Special Constabulary can support the work of the force in specialist areas.

“Special Sergeant Healey and his team have worked hard and volunteered a vast number of hours to assist the work of Public Protection and we are currently looking at how Specials can work in other areas across the force based on the success of this team.”