A children’s charity has welcomed a damning new report which highlighted significant failings and “shockingly inadequate” attempts to tackle child sexual abuse across Buckinghamshire – including ignoring pleas for help from vulnerable young victims.
A serious case review into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the county between 1998 and 2016 was carried out by the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB), with victims, survivors and families, as well as agencies, speaking about their experiences.
It found that in the past, agencies were “not equipped” to provide “adequate” advice, information or support to young people and their families, while issues around the lack of help for ethnic minorities and concerns around taxi drivers were also highlighted.
The report went on to say that some young people who asked for help were “not heard”, and others were not believed, while some described being abused in care.
The NSPCC said it was “clear” that some vulnerable victims of CSE had been “let down” by “inadequate” services in the past.
A spokesman said: “Worrying gaps in the provision of services in Buckinghamshire have been improved over time and this review highlights the positive change that has been made.
“It is clear that some vulnerable young victims of child sexual exploitation have been let down by inadequate services in the past and it’s now crucial that each of this review’s recommendations are swiftly adopted.
“Child sexual exploitation is all too often a hidden crime and, increasingly, young people are being groomed by abusers on the internet, so parents and carers need to be vigilant about the relationships their child is forming on and offline.
“We all have a duty to look out for a child’s welfare.”
If you are concerned about a child or young person, you can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 500 1111.
The full report can be viewed at www.bucks-lscb.org.uk/serious-case-review/serious-case-review-into-child-sexual-exploitation-in-buckinghamshire-1998-2016.