To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of recent trends in localised grooming and child sexual exploitation.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre carried out a thematic assessment of child sexual exploitation, with particular reference to ‘localised grooming’, earlier this year. The CEOP report ‘Out of Mind, Out of Sight: Breaking down the barriers to understanding child sexual exploitation’, published in June 2011, provided an outline of trends, themes and patterns. These were, however, based on a limited number of responses to a request to local agencies for data and the CEOP report acknowledged that findings from the thematic assessment were not fully representative.
The Government have published a national action plan to tackle child sexual exploitation. This will emphasise the importance of undertaking further research to improve understanding of child sexual exploitation and inform effective responses to it. It will look forward to findings becoming available from the recently launched inquiry by the Office of the Children's Commissioner into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups.