“The police are there to keep us safe, not to manipulate or intimidate us. Respect me and I’ll respect you” *
Since 2015, staff in ‘The International Centre’ have been running the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub, with the aim of enhancing police responses to child sexual exploitation (CSE), other forms of sexual abuse and associated vulnerabilities in adolescence, through better use of research evidence and enhanced links between police and academics.
Early on in the project an initial strategic needs analysis found that police engagement with young people affected by CSE, other forms of CSA and related vulnerabilities was a key area where police needed support.
As a result the Hub established an ‘Experts by Experience’ (EBE) group. These are young people from across the country who have taken part in a range of activities for the last year looking at how the police can improve their safeguarding responses to young people. In October 2016, this work culminated in a residential in the Lake District, where some of the EBE came together with officers from across the country to create practical solutions to some of these challenges.
Since the residential, the EBE and police officers have been working together on a project called Marginal Gains. As part of the project the EBE and police co-developed resources for police, designed to enhance police engagement with young people and improve safeguarding responses.