Chief prosecutor warns of tell-tale signs of child sexual exploitation

24/06/2013

The Crown Prosecution Service is warning teachers and parents of the tell-tale signs of child sexual exploitation.

The warning comes as lawyers consider charges against people suspected of grooming young girls into prostitution.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Martin Goldman explains it's too early to discuss specific cases but feels teachers and parents may benefit from knowing what to look out for to stop this from happening to young girls in Humberside.

He said:"There continues to be relatively few cases in the area but if it is was your daughter being subjected to this pack-like mentality I'm conscious that would come as little reassurance.

"We have to stop this from happening and by the time it gets to the CPS it's too late to prevent the initial crime but with a little more information I believe parents and teachers could be key to protecting our children.

"It's become a myth that the girls targeted are from problem homes, the recent case in Rochdale tells us that's not always the case.  We have to be mindful of these signs in any child.

"Girls who are being targeted tend to have people trying to contact them all of the time and might be picked up from the school gates from older males who are not relatives. The girls may have a positive view of their relationship with these men initially but this will quickly change and the girl's engagement, cleanliness and appearance will quickly deteriorate as she is introduced to drugs and alcohol.

"In some cases the girls don't view what is happening to them as wrong and this is all part of the grooming process. The adults around them need to safeguard these girls from the dangers they face and it's only by knowing what this crime looks like that we can know how to prevent it.

"Guidance has been issued to all prosecutors and we have a specialist lawyer in every part of Yorkshire and Humberside who will oversee all of these cases to the victims and witnesses get the very best service from us."