POLICE chiefs have declared there is a problem with child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the Royal Borough.
Thames Valley Police this week revealed since Autumn 2013, the force has got involved in 38 incidents to protect young people in the borough believed to be at risk of CSE. It added currently 13 young people are actively being worked with. Of the 38 incidents, 37 involved girls and all 38 were aged between 12 and 18. Since the launch of a CSE-tackling programme in the Windsor and Maidenhead policing area in Autumn 2013, three abduction notices have been slapped on people suspected of grooming teenagers and there have been two arrests on suspicion of CSE – both unrelated to the abduction notices. Superintendent Kate Ford, area commander for Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “It would be very naive to say just as we live in an affluent area, there isn’t a problem. “We don’t have a problem on the scale of some areas. We have young people that we believe are being exploited and we are working closely with partners to make sure that doesn’t escalate.” Windsor-based Inspector Emily Roberts, who is taking the lead on tackling CSE in the borough, revealed as part of a large-scale training and education operation with hotels and bed and breakfasts last year, one hotel in the Royal Borough was given comprehensive training in licensing law in September. Supt Ford added: “There were concerns about it potentially being a place where young people were being groomed. Whilst we didn’t have any evidence that they were abetting or aiding criminal activity, we could do checks on selling alcohol. There were some apparent breaches there.” The pair also warned there is no guarantee that levels of CSE have reached a ceiling in the Royal Borough, adding as police and the public are more alert to warning signs, especially after recent high-profile cases such as in Rotherham and Oxford.