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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


H.6: Other aspects of profile inaccuracy

19. In addition to the flagging issues summarised above, profiling in the case study areas was poor in other respects. Typically the profile was no more than a snapshot in time, based on inaccurate or incomplete data.

19.1. Durham Constabulary’s 2019 problem profile only considered data over a period of three months.[1] While DCC Orford suggested that this was a “comprehensive” problem profile, the profile itself stated that the “three-month sample size did not lend itself to adequate analysis of child sexual exploitation”.[2] DCC Orford explained it as an “initial snapshot” due to resourcing challenges but, given that the purpose of the profile was to analyse child sexual abuse and exploitation, this was a fundamental problem and an unsatisfactory explanation.[3]

19.2. Merseyside Police completed a serious and organised crime local problem profile for St Helens in December 2018. Although ACC Critchley explained that there was an initial plan to complete a further profile in December 2019, this was not completed due to a focus on other areas of Merseyside at that time and a reduction in staffing.[4] Merseyside Police is therefore operating on the basis of data which may not accurately reflect the current position in St Helens.

19.3. In the Metropolitan Police Service’s 2019 problem profile, which included Tower Hamlets, 31 percent of reports did not specify the type of child sexual exploitation suffered by a victim.[5] There was also little information about the level of risk to a child (which was missing in 39 percent of crime reports considered) and the vulnerabilities of the child.[6] The profile stated that:

a notable absence of higher-harm CSE cases featured heavily in the interview data from exploitation-focused partners. These participants stated their concern over the low volume of high-harm CSE cases as it was not reflecting the situation as they saw it.[7]


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