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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual exploitation by organised networks Investigation Report

Contents

G.4: Data from the case study areas

23. Police services, local authorities and specialist agencies are likely to record episodes of children going missing for different purposes. The existence of different data sets between these organisations is not necessarily problematic. It is important that there are clear multi-agency arrangements for sharing information about these children and effective monitoring of them, including those placed out of area: in the year ending 31 March 2018, 41 percent of missing incidents in children’s homes in England were related to out-of-area placements.[1]

24. Some of the case study areas provided data about the extent to which those children who went missing had already been identified as at risk of, or harmed by, sexual exploitation. When such data were available, the overall picture was concerning.

24.1. South Wales Police indicated that the number of occasions on which children flagged as at risk of sexual exploitation were recorded as missing was 1,072 in 2018, 981 in 2019 and 560 in 2020 (up to 25 November). During this almost three-year period, 10 children went missing in excess of 50 times each; one went missing 115 times.[2]

24.2. A London regional child sexual exploitation problem profile was produced in 2016, using data for the period November 2014–October 2015. It stated that half of child sexual exploitation victims had gone missing previously and just under a quarter were reported missing at the time of the offence. Missing child sexual exploitation victims accounted for 31 percent of all missing children.[3]

24.3. Avon and Somerset Police indicated that the number of occasions on which children flagged as at risk of sexual exploitation were recorded as missing was 1,829 in 2018, 1,432 in 2019 and 984 in 2020 (up to 25 November). During this period (from April 2018 to November 2020), five children went missing in excess of 70 times each; one child went missing 100 times.[4]

References

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