I have been the South West CSE Coordinator for two years and this will be my last blog. It's been a difficult decision but I'm returning to Avon and Somerset to be a duty Detective Inspector in Investigations. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two years and not only have I met loads of great people across the region and the country, I have learnt loads. I have been reflecting on the last two years and I remember worrying when I started about where to start in helping the South West to make a difference when it comes to Child Sexual Exploitation. I wondered whether I would be able to make a difference over such a big area. It turns out that we have all been working really hard in the South West and we have achieved a lot.
I set up the Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Strategic Governance Group for the region and working with force CSE leads and partners we have looked at ways in which we can improve the intelligence picture and how we can improve the way we investigate children who are reported as missing. We produced a good practice guide for the police for this and if you would like a copy and you don't already have it, please let me know. I also established the South West CSE Practioners Forum which is a great forum for networking, sharing good practice and helping to problem solve for law enforcement. We have developed ways of sharing information across forces and heard a great presentation from Devon and Cornwall police about the use of civil orders.
I have worked with Barnardos and Rachel Allen-Ringham from Rachel Ringham Ltd and Bath and North East Somerset Local Authority to develop a strategy discussion aide memoir for CSE and I'm still working with Bristol City Council to produce a protocol for managing Harmful Sexual Behaviour. We have produced a number of products that help us to understand the profile of CSE in the South West. Spencer produces a monthly social media bulletin and we have the therapeutic services spreadsheet - both of which can be found on the website here: https://www.zephyrswrocu.org.uk/home/cse.aspx
And I can't forget the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit CSEA Conference. Thank you to all those who came and made this such a great event.
Working with the University of Bedfordshire has been a great experience. I learnt a lot from the Experts by Experience and I will never forget hearing a very memorable young person talk about marginal gains. How if we all make small changes, we will eventually make a big difference. I can't wait to go to my new team and start putting this in to practice with the investigations I will be managing. I'll be thinking about how we can be more trauma informed and how I can implement contextual safeguarding. For a reminder about these - see here: https://www.uobcsepolicinghub.org.uk/responding-to-cse/briefing-papers and https://www.uobcsepolicinghub.org.uk/responding-to-cse/videos
I have to say a big thank you to all. I have met so many professionals in the police, local authority, health, education and voluntary groups. You have all helped me to achieve the goals we have achieved and I have been amazed at the enthusiasm, hard work and motivation from everyone. I will miss this role but I will still be working in child protection, so hope our paths will cross on occasion.
So I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Lynn. Lynn Prendergast is a DI from Gloucestershire. She is the new CSE coordinator for the South West and I know that she is eager to meet you all. Lynn has a background working in child protection and public protection. Lynn can be contacted by email at [email protected]