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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


J.4: Cross-border working

19. Government guidance on child sexual exploitation stresses that cases of child sexual exploitation frequently cross local authority, police force and sometimes national boundaries. Agencies and organisations should therefore be prepared to work together across them.[1]

20. Cross-boundary data and intelligence-sharing between statutory safeguarding partners has been found to be particularly problematic when children have been trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation across geographical boundaries.[2]

21. The Inquiry’s review of individual cases included some children who were trafficked or travelled across boundaries, or were in care placements at a distance from their home area. Much cross-boundary working did not appear to be effective. In one case, covert policing techniques were successfully used to disrupt sexual exploitation but it appears that the primary focus of the operation was the county lines criminality rather than the sexual exploitation of vulnerable children.[3]


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