NYSCP August 2023 E-bulletin - North Yorkshire

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August 2023 E-bulletin

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Welcome to the NYSCP August 2023 edition of our e-bulletin

Welcome to the August edition of the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership’s (NYSCP) E-Bulletin.  August sees the Summer Holidays and a welcome ‘break’ for some of our partners and the hope of some sunny times with friends and families.

This month sees the celebration of Yorkshire Day on 1st August 2023.  It gives us a chance to celebrate everything amazing that Yorkshire; both the people and the places has to offer!

This month we are sharing key information in relation to County Lines and child exploitation.  We are asking partners to look out for the signs of County Lines and be vigilant to other forms of child criminal and sexual exploitation to help protect young people from being exploited this summer.

This is highlighted in a recent report by Barnardo’s summer23-report-invisible-children-cost-living-criminal-sexual-exploitation.pdf (barnardos.org.uk). Summer holidays can be a heightened risk for exploitation.  A recent YouGov Poll shared that 1 in 3 children said they were worried about not having money for activities during the school holidays, and with children becoming less visible to some services over the holidays, perpetrators can use this time to groom and exploit children.

Please continue to Be Aware and be curious about Child Exploitation in North Yorkshire; we hope the resources below will help you to do that.

Finally, we would like to introduce you to a new section of our Partnership E-Bulletin – each month we will be sharing one key headline from a ‘practice or research theme’ from our website and encouraging Partners to “Do your PART”

As always, if you have any content you would like to share as part of our bulletin, or any ideas of themes you would like us to cover please do get in touch with us: nyscp@northyorks.gov.uk

Wishing you all a fantastic summer (without too much ‘Yorkshire’ weather) and we will see you in our September edition.

Kathryn Morrison

Policy and Development Officer (Multi Agency Child Exploitation)

North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership


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Welcome to the new section of our E-bulletin.  Each month we will be encouraging partners to “do your PART” by embracing one practice or research theme from our website.

This month: did you know that you can bookmark key pages on our website so you can access them quickly on your mobile when you need them?  Being able to access One Minute Guides and practice guidance at the click of a button can make can speed up access to vital resources while on the go.

Why not bookmark our BeAware page to your phone home screen to enable quick access to key exploitation information and resources?

On an iPhone:

Add a website icon to your Home Screen

You can add a website icon to your iPhone Home Screen for quick access.

  1. While viewing the website, tap the share button in the menu bar.
  2. Scroll down the list of options, then tap Add to Home Screen.

If you don’t see Add to Home Screen, you can add it. Scroll down to the bottom of the list, tap Edit Actions, then tap + Add to Home Screen.

The icon appears only on the device where you add it.

On an Android phone:

You can add a website icon to your Android home screen for quick access.

  1. Launch the browser
  2. Press Menu then select Bookmarks
  3. Long press any bookmark and click Add Shortcut to Home screen

The icon appears only on the device where you add it.

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Child Exploitation: Learning Headlines:

What is “County Lines?”

County Lines describes the mobile phone lines used by criminal gangs to organise illegal drugs to be moved and sold from one village, town or city to another across the UK.  Children are most often used to move and sell the drugs.  They are recruited by gang members who pose as friends and then trap the young people into a terrifying cycle of violence, exploitation and abuse.  Children caught up in County Lines are not criminals – they are victims of exploitation at the hands of organised criminal gangs.

Below is a short vide by the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) discussing the County Lines Methodology and how this is impacting Children and Vulnerable Adults.

NCLCC – County Lines Awareness Video – YouTube

The NCLCC has also recently released a video highlighting ‘debt bondage’.  Debt bondage happens when a child or adult believes they owe money to their exploiters and are forced to repay their debt, often for free.  This can be a debt created when the police seize drugs or money, or a robbery is staged by the exploiters, but the young person believes it to be real.  It is a method commonly used by criminal gangs to entrap young people and vulnerable adults.

Debt Bondage Awareness – YouTube

All of our resources in relation to child exploitation and county lines can be accessed on our BeAware page of the partnership website NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk)

*Remember you can “do your PART” and bookmark “BeAware” as a page on your phone so you can access key resources for all aspects of child exploitation quickly on your phone.

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Spotting the signs early:

A recent partnership audit looking at multi-agency responses to child exploitation, showed positive examples of multi-agency working and communication between partners to tackle exploitation with timely responses.  It also showed strong engagement with parents and positive use of disruption tools.

It highlighted the continual need for partners to be aware of the early warning signs of exploitation and softer indicators and ensure that any concerns are raised as soon as possible so appropriate support and intervention can be offered.

Being mindful of changes in behaviour and considering whether there is a risk that child may be being exploited can be vital in making an impact at the earliest opportunity.

For further information about the signs of exploitation please visit our BeAware page NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk)

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The essential role of disruption:

Everyone has a role to play in disrupting exploitation; be that professionals, community members, business owners, family, parents and peers.  This was a message that we promoted recently for safeguarding week with a masterclass “ Working together to disrupt exploitation in North Yorkshire” which can be accessed via our YouTube Channel: Working Together To Disrupt Child Exploitation In North Yorkshire – YouTube

The sharing of information and intelligence is vital for tackling and disruption of exploitation and putting the ‘jigsaw pieces’ together.  Your intelligence could be the missing piece that gives us the vital picture of what is happening. 

Professionals can share intelligence via the partnership Information Sharing Form;  with full information and guidance available on our website: NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk)

*Don’t forget to “do your PART” and bookmark the partnership Information Form onto your phone so you can access it quickly when you need it.

The public also play a crucial role in providing intelligence and anyone that has any information about suspected criminal activity in your neighbourhood should contact the police as soon as they can.  If something feels “not quite right” don’t be afraid to share the concern.  This can be done by calling 101, reporting the information online or sharing via Crimestoppers.

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Contextual Safeguarding: How do you respond to harm outside of the family home?

How do services respond when young people experience harm beyond their family settings?  What kinds of interventions help to create safety?  What does it mean to change the contexts where young people experience harm?  If you’re looking for some ideas and inspiration the Contextual Safeguarding Research programme has a new responses and interventions catalogue.  It contains over 30 entries and each one is an example of a safeguarding practice response tested by partners involved in developing Contextual Safeguarding work.

Responses & Interventions Catalogue | Contextual Safeguarding

Further information about Contextual Safeguarding can be found in our BeAware knowledge Hub: NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk)

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Gender and Exploitation:

Recent National and local data analysis has highlighted the need for raising awareness of gender and exploitation.  Predominantly we recognise female victims of sexual exploitation and male victims of criminal exploitation.  It is essential that we consider gender and inclusivity at every level of professional practice and work to identify and address our own assumptions and stereotypes.  Only by doing so can we build a society that protects all children from exploitation and abuse.

The Children’s society have recently produced a resource focusing and raising awareness of boy’s experiences of sexual abuse and exploitation and girls’ experiences of criminal exploitation and asks us to consider the assumptions we make based on gender and the impact this may have on our responses to exploitation?

Are we actively looking for indicators or criminal exploitation in girls and are we considering males as victims of sexual exploitation?

Further information can be accessed via Children’s Society’s #LookCloser resources which can be accessed here: #LookCloser To Spot Exploitation | The Children’s Society (childrenssociety.org.uk)

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Vaping and Child Exploitation:

Vaping and the risk to children is something that is regularly covered as a National news story.  A recent article by St Giles Trust highlighted the links with the sale of Vapes and the evolving nature of Criminal Exploitation and County Lines.

Evan Jones, Director of Criminal Exploitation Development at St Giles Trust, said:

“The use of vapes tells us that the way children are criminally exploited and groomed into county lines activity are constantly evolving and drug gangs are finding new ways to target children and young people.”

The full article can be accessed here: Child criminal exploitation is constantly evolving – St Giles (stgilestrust.org.uk)

There is a range of resources available for professionals in relation to the use of vapes.  Everyone has the right to the right information about drink and drugs and Drink Drug Hub is a site created by North Yorkshire Horizons to provide reliable and current information.  This includes a recent article and resources related to the use of vapes: What’s in your vape? – Drink Drug Hub

The site also offers a free face to face training page which includes Drink, Drugs at present but coming soon Autumn 2023: Overdose prevention, Vaping drugs and more!

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) also shared an article of the link with the sales of vapes and sexual exploitation and the need to report the underage sale of vapes.

tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/news-room/2022/ctsi-voices-concerns-around-possible-links-between-underage-vaping-and-risks-of-child-sexual-exploitation/

Reports of sales of age restricted products to minors (e-cigarettes, vapes, tobacco products and alcohol), can be reported to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline Reporting to Trading Standards – Citizens Advice

Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133

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Children’s Society Resources

The Children’s Society have also released a series of resources as part of their #LookCloser campaign: Working with Education to protect young people from Education. Lesson plans are available for Primary, Secondary and Special Schools. The resource can be found using the following link:

https://register.childrenssociety.org.uk/page/111066/data/1

A collation of resources and lesson plans available for school settings has been added to our BeAware page: NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk)

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Water Safety

Children and families are often drawn to open water particularly during the summer months, this includes places such as the sea, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, canals, rivers, and even paddling pools.  Visit our website for useful information to stay safe near water, with guidance from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. NYSCP (safeguardingchildren.co.uk)

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The role of technology in harmful sexual behaviour

Technology plays a fundamental part in all of our lives, including children, but professionals are seeing its used even more commonly in incidents of harmful sexual behaviour.  On the 19th September, the Child Sexual Abuse Centre (CSA) are hosting an online half-day training course to give professionals the knowledge, skills and confidence to respond to and manage this behaviour and provide effective support.  Book your place – The role of technology in harmful sexual behaviour in children Tickets, Tue 19 Sep 2023 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

The CSA also offer a free, short accessible course for all professionals working with children on identifying and responding to intra-familial child sexual abuse, to access this learning, visit – eLearning – CSA Centre

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Upcoming Masterclasses

  • 6 September 2023 – Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • 4 October 2023 – Reducing Parental Conflict
  • 8 November 2023 – Multi-Agency Child Exploitation (MACE)
  • 6 December 2023 – Modern Slavery

For more information about all available training please visit: www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/training-north-yorkshire/training-courses/

On completion of Masterclasses and other courses please provide feedback via the NYES link that will be sent to you after the session, when feedback has been submitted, you will receive a certificate of Attendance.

Unless stated otherwise, our Masterclasses are also available to download from our YouTube channel after the event at: www.youtube.com/@nyscp

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Useful Links

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