Bedfordshire has become the first county to launch the Home Office Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit, which gives front line practitioners the guidance they need to disrupt perpetrators and safeguard children from being exploited.

More than 70 people attended the briefing sessions at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick on Friday (22 November), Introduced by Lisa Robinson, employed by YouTurn and Exploitation Project Lead Bedfordshire, and led by Helen Matthews and Andy Thompson of CYP First, to learn more about the toolkit and how it will help them in line of work.

The toolkit details the different types of disruption tactics that can be used for all types of exploitation, including sexual, criminal, abduction and trafficking. It also focuses on victim care and how partnership working can safeguard the children and young people who are at risk, or are already victims of, exploitation.

It aims to:

  • Set out many of the tools useful for police and other safeguarding professionals to disrupt the sexual and criminal exploitation of children and young people, break the cycle of abuse and send a signal to perpetrators about the consequences of their actions.
  • Help safeguarding partners understand how their knowledge, expertise and information sharing could contribute to the protection of victims, evidence for further action, arrest and potential prosecution of offenders.
  • Provide useful guidance about technological options available to support interventions.

Lisa Robinson, the Exploitation Project Lead for Bedfordshire, said: “County lines, modern slavery, child sexual and criminal exploitation are all happening now, which is why it is so important that all front line practitioners are briefed on this toolkit and are familiar with the disruption tactics that can be considered and used in their individual job roles, when circumstances determine that some action should be undertaken.”

“Perpetrators who target children in order to exploit them can share similar patterns of behaviour, which is why the disruption techniques, and the best way to deal with them, in this toolkit are useful when dealing with different types of exploitation.

“The launch of this toolkit will be a great asset in our fight against child exploitation in Bedfordshire.”

Kimberley Lamb, head of the new Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU), said: “It is fantastic to see all these different professionals and partners coming together to focus on what more we can all do to combat the exploitation of children.

“Helping our young people and keeping them safe will be at the heart of everything we aim to do at the VERU, with this toolkit a valuable aid in terms of the practical steps different agencies can take.

“Bedfordshire will continue to lead the way in this area, and we look forward to unveiling more details about our unit’s plans in the coming weeks.”

You can access the toolkit here:

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