It is the statutory responsibility of local authorities to assess the needs of all separated children at risk of harm and in need of accommodation. It is their responsibility to provide suitable accommodation, following this assessment, ensuring that they are safeguarded and their welfare promoted under the provisions of the Children Act 1989.
We understand from the police that Operation Pentameter 2 identified 16 children, 13 of whom had been trafficked for sexual exploitation and three for forced labour.
All were appropriately referred to local authorities. We understand from the police that one has absconded.