The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has begun a new initiative to raise awareness amongst private security companies of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), particularly in the night-time economy.
The SIA worked with Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Board to bring members of the security industry to the table for an event that was the first of its kind.
The SIA began working on this CSE initiative after SIA investigator, Matthew Murchington, attended the Nottinghamshire Authorities Licensing Group in late 2015. At this meeting, the county’s Local Authority, Police licensing offices, Gambling Commission, NHS, and other organisations met, where the Nottingham Safeguarding Board gave a presentation on CSE and vulnerability training. Seeing the potential for intelligence sharing by security operatives it became clear that the SIA could play a positive role in assisting CSE agencies in Nottinghamshire.
Dave Humphries, the SIA Director of Partnerships and Interventions said: “The SIA is committed to ensuring public protection and the safety of young and vulnerable people. This initiative to promote the sharing of information will have a far-reaching impact. Security operatives have an important role to play in environments where exploitation can occur such as working in shopping malls, taxi ranks, fast food restaurants, hotels and nightclubs. We are pleased to be working with partners from Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Police and the NHS to raise awareness of CSE”.
Awareness of CSE is already a part of the SIA training requirements. Following several meetings it became clear that a significant way the SIA can work with Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council was to offer further CSE training for private security sectors. This would include the identification of CSE and intelligence sharing by operatives working in Door Supervision, Security Guarding, Close Protection and CCTV.
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are committed to working with front line colleagues in health, schools and youth groups as well as local taxi drivers, security firms and hoteliers across Nottingham to make sure that everybody’s eyes are open to CSE. We want to spread the message that everyone needs to be a part of this work to help raise awareness, do what they can to spot the signs of CSE and report them immediately”.
To further this initiative, the SIA invited regional private security companies to attend Nottingham City Council CSE Seminar on 15 September. Several companies attended including 52 individuals from 13 companies.
The NHS, Nottinghamshire Police, Concerns Network, Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution units presented on how to report CSE and what happens to the information gathered when reported.
A key component discussed at the seminar was how important the private security industry is in supporting their efforts. Two positive outcomes from the seminar were firstly, the agreement to designate CSE Safeguarding roles within the private security companies. Secondly, to arrange for additional seminars and courses for the private security companies who wanted to attend but were unable to do so.