COUNCIL chiefs are warning the number of children identified as at risk of sexual exploitation could increase as more is done to identify victims.
Since December, there have been 29 girls aged 13-17 identified in the Royal Borough as either being at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) or who have been exploited.
In the last 12 months, the Royal Borough and its partners have made a drive to identify and help victims which means more cases could be recorded as young people come forward and staff mould best practice in identifying potential victims.
Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday, David Scott, the council’s head of education, strategy and commissioning, said: “I think it is safe to say we are at a relatively early stage and we will get a better picture over time.”
Cllr Phill Bicknell, cabinet member for children’s services, has ordered a full internal audit about all areas of the council’s approach to protecting young people at risk, including looking at taxi licensing and checks on houses of multiple occupancy.
Adults concerned about the welfare of children, should call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. Children can call their own specialised NSPCC line on 0800 1111.
In a non-emergency situation, the Royal Borough can be contacted on 01628 683150.
The Royal Borough Observer