Enhancing police responses to child sexual exploitation, through collaborative working between academic and policing at both national and regional levels

Lead institution
University of Bedfordshire

Project contact
Dr Helen Beckett

Collaborating partners


​* Norfolk Constabulary
* North Wales Police
* National Network of Child Sexual Exploitation
* National Policing Leads for Violence & Public
* Missing People and Neglect.

​* College of Social Work
* Public Health England
* Barnardos
* Victim Support.

Summary of activities

This work will facilitate sustainable collaborative working, at both national and regional levels, between policing, academia and other relevant professions.

This collaboration will aim to use research to enhance police response to young people affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE), other forms of child sexual abuse (CSA), and associated vulnerabilites. 

We will develop a national hub of expertise at the University of Bedfordshire to achieve these aims, working with four regional partnerships hubs across England and Wales (to be established in the first year of the project).

Key activities to be undertaken through this delivery structure are:

  • establishment of an online knowledge exchange platform
  • review of the existing knowledge base
  • needs analysis of the key challenges faced from the perspective of police, professional partners and young people
  • webinars on key themes and practice briefing papers
  • online research and ethics tutorials and 'how to' guides
  • up-skilling of police trainers
  • a research and applied practice police forum
  • academic mentoring for regional CSE coordinators and analysts
  • solution-focused police-led research projects
  • a participatory solution-focused learning programme between police and young people
  • workshops with policy personnel and commissioners
  • an end of project conference.