‘We can’t relax when it comes to child abuse’: Camden leads London in crackdown on child sex exploitation

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 December 2014

Camden's multi-agency sexual exploitation board works to prevent abuse and identify potential victims

Camden's multi-agency sexual exploitation board works to prevent abuse and identify potential victims


Camden is at the forefront of London’s crackdown on child abuse as the only council to have a dedicated expert working alongside police to prevent the rise of child sexual exploitation.


n 15 young people have been identified as potential abuse victims

n Social workers have carried out 110 risk assessments relating to child abuse, 27 of which resulted in specialist intervention

n The council received 18 referrals relating to concerns of child sexual exploitation

n Four abduction notices have been issued by the council

n Two arrests were made in relation to child abuse

n Two search warrants were executed by police to disrupt potential abuse

In the wake of child abuse scandals in Rotherham and Rochdale, the council has appointed someone to gather intelligence 
on child abuse cases to help 
police learn about underground networks linking victims 
with abusers and to identify exploitation hotspots.

It is believed to be the only local authority to develop this approach to preventing child 
abuse and identifying potential victims.

In a report presented to a scrutiny committee at Camden Town Hall last week, council officers found that “good progress” has been made in identifying those most at risk of sexual exploitation in the borough as a result of the appointment in June.

The report states: “Camden data shows the scale and nature of the problem here is not the same as that reported nationally and in areas such as Rotherham.

“Nevertheless, there is no place for complacency.”

Anne Turner, assistant director for the Children, Schools and Families department at 
Camden Council, said at the 
meeting: “There is a bigger problem with grooming and abuse in Haringey and Islington but it is attracting children from Camden to go across the border into this area.”

In the last year, 15 young people have been identified as at a high risk of abuse. They are all on a programme to help them recognise sexual exploitation.

Between March and September, 18 people were referred 
to the council because of 
concerns about child sexual exploitation.

For every child identified as at risk of sexual abuse, Camden’s expert – known as a multi-agency sexual exploitation (MASE) analyst – builds a profile of 
information about the amount of time a child spends away from home, details of the child’s friends and associates, and places where the child is known to visit regularly.

The analyst, funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, then passes the information onto police to help them locate the potential abuse victim when they are missing from home, and to ensure that they are kept safe from abuse.

The role is a joint partnership between Camden Council and Camden police.

However, council cuts threaten the long-term viability of the role, and funding 
is only secured for the next year.

Cllr Angela Mason, cabinet member for children, told the meeting: “We have the MASE analyst for one year and then there is no more funding.

“That is a problem. It would be my wish to step in and provide that funding, but obviously that will be quite difficult for us.

‘‘The lack of police resources and the cuts will impact on this area of work.”

Cllr Mason is concerned that there are not enough resources within the police to sustain efforts to tackle the problem of child abuse in Camden over a long-term period.

In the last year, the report found that Camden police has arrested and deported one man for sexual assault, and sent out two search warrants relating to potential child abuse.

The MASE analyst has also identified potential victims 
living in Camden who are 
members of Facebook pages where young people post “provocative images”.

Scrutiny committee member Cllr Andrew Mennear said: “We should not be complacent, regardless of the fact that we think children’s services in Camden are generally very good.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


A rainy Sunday failed to put any snouts out of joint as a band of determined Schnauzer-owners and their four-legged friends took to the Heath last weekend.


Mitzvah Day, the UK’s biggest faith-based day of social action, was launched in Parliament last week to a audience of MPs and peers.


Three years after a controversial merger saw Torriano Primary School formed, teachers and governors are celebrating a top-of-the-class Ofsted rating that Camden Council’s education chief said “vindicated” the decision to amalgamate the schools.


The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has submitted its planning application to Westminster City Council to redevelop the historic Compton and Edrich stands at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Beauty brand GOSH donated £15,000 of cosmetics and beauty products to Marie Curie Hospice’s in Hampstead last week.


Alan’s Records in East Finchley opened its doors in 1994 and now features in a guide to the top 80 record emporia around the globe.

Yesterday, 17:08

Barnet Council’s finances came under scrutiny last week as the fallout continued from the fraud that saw a Capita employee swindle £2m from council coffers.

Yesterday, 16:06

Haringey is “prostituting” Finsbury Park out for Wireless Festival and should scrap the event, neighbours argued at a licensing sub-committee meeting last night.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now