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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual exploitation by organised networks investigation report


G.2: The experiences of the case study children who went missing

7. Going missing from home and school was a feature in the lives of almost all the case study children in this investigation.

8. CS-A114 went missing in Durham many times over a six-month period, apparently due to factors such as bullying and aggression by her mother’s partner. An audit in 2017 of the RHIs conducted with her found no record of meaningful steps taken to protect her over this period. Had the RHIs properly examined why CS-A114 was going missing so often, the causes might have been addressed and her subsequent episodes of going missing and the harm caused by sexual exploitation might have been reduced.[1] The links between going missing and sexual exploitation were evident in the cases of several other Durham children, including CS-A50, CS-A29 and CS-A118.[2]

9. CS-A1 went missing from care in Warwickshire 11 times in 6 weeks up to May 2017 whilst aged 14 years.[3] While in one placement for 84 days, CS-A1 went missing 48 times.[4] The first missing from home trigger plan was not created by Warwickshire Police until June 2017.[5] CS-A1 disclosed being supplied with drugs by named individuals in at least two RHIs.[6] It is unclear if this led to any investigation or action by Warwickshire Police or fed into wider intelligence about child sexual exploitation in the force area and beyond. CS-A146 went missing frequently and was trafficked to towns outside her home area.[7]

10. In St Helens, CS-A26 went missing from home 30 times in a three-month period when she was aged 12 and was found numerous times with adult males. By the age of 15, she was missing from home a lot of the time.[8] She was taken into care but she went missing even more as she tried to return to her parent’s home. CS-A71 often went missing together with CS-A212, a younger child in care. They travelled to other parts of the country after men made contact with CS-A71 online. Both children were sexually exploited when missing.[9]

11. CS-A77 was in care in Tower Hamlets from 2015. In 2017/18 and 2018/19 she went missing 40 and 47 times respectively from an unregulated placement.[10] An internal police audit found that CS-A90, who was deemed to be a victim of modern slavery following a National Referral Mechanism assessment, had been missing on numerous occasions but the Metropolitan Police Service had not developed a trigger plan for future incidents.[11]

12. CS-A221 went missing from his home in Swansea when he was 14. He was found in another part of Wales with a registered sex offender who befriended and groomed him and his family.[12] CS-A25 lived between relatives and was regularly missing, including on seven occasions between May and August 2018. While missing, she was taken to events organised by adults and supplied with drugs. She also experienced a number of serious sexual assaults.[13]

13. In Bristol, CS-A32 went missing nine times in one year. She was seen outside licensed premises with adults and on one occasion stayed overnight at the home of a man and woman she had met that day.[14] There was no evidence of information from RHIs being used to prevent further episodes of going missing.[15] CS-A59 also often went missing from care and was sexually exploited while missing.[16]

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