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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual exploitation by organised networks Investigation Report

Contents

B.6: Improving data collection and analysis

48. The absence of accurate information about the nature and scale of child sexual exploitation is a fundamental obstacle to addressing the problem.

49. At a minimum, a standard set of indicators should be developed and reported on at local authority as well as police force level. Child sexual exploitation should be a distinct category within child sexual abuse and criminal exploitation statistics across all agencies at both local and national level. Otherwise, the scale of child sexual exploitation will remain seriously underestimated.

50. Accurate data on the ethnicity of victims and perpetrators should also be collated and analysed.

51. In the 2021 cross-governmental Strategy for Tackling Child Sexual Abuse, the Home Office has committed to engaging with criminal justice partners, academics, think tanks, charities and frontline professionals on improving the range and quality of data currently collected, and to drawing out insights from the data to help protect children by preventing and detecting offending.[1]

52. Given the current unsatisfactory state of data on and analysis of child sexual exploitation, governments must ensure that obtaining specific data on child sexual exploitation is one of the most important priorities of strategy implementation. This is necessary to improve the institutional responses and outcomes for children.

53. Alongside these improvements, any denial of the true scale of child sexual exploitation must be challenged, at national level as well as locally.

References

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