Tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE) and bringing offenders to justice is a priority for South Yorkshire Police. We are now operating with a deeper understanding of child sexual exploitation.
Here we will bring you updates about what we are doing to tackle child sexual exploitation.
Some children are more at risk then others; it is the responsibility of everyone to spot the signs that a child may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
The first phase of a new awareness raising campaign was launched with partners across the county in November 2014 to encourage people to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, and come forward with information about young people vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
The Spot the Signs campaign includes a series of posters depicting 14 different signs that a young person may be a victim of sexual exploitation, as well as the details of support services available. These are currently displayed in prominent public locations including on buses, in shopping centres and doctor’s surgeries.
The artwork for some of the signs is below.
For information about all of the 14 signs please click on the link below:
Over the last two years, since the publication of the Alexis Jay Report, South Yorkshire Police has made significant progress in tackling child sexual exploitation but we understand more needs to be done.
More police officers and staff dedicated to tackling issues like child abuse, domestic abuse, missing people and honour-based abuse work across South Yorkshire and specialist multi-agency safeguarding hubs (MASH) are now in place in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
In July 2016, a ground-breaking child sexual exploitation service was launched in Rotherham. Evolve, which comprises of social workers, police officers, a child sexual exploitation specialist nurse, a Barnardo’s project worker, and others, working in one place to provide support and protection to children at risk of sexual exploitation and their families. You can read more about Evolve here.
Barnardo's also operates their dedicated ReachOut Rotherham CSE Service - an independent, preventative and multi-agency child sexual exploitation service. They work with schools, communities and local children to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and they also take referrals if you have concerns for a child. You can make a referral by calling 01709 377 157 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm). More information about the Rotherham ReachOut CSE Service can be found here.
More information about the partnership work being undertaken in Rotherham to tackle child sexual exploitation is outlined in the video below:
On 30 September 2015, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings launched a review into South Yorkshire Police’s handling of reports of child sexual exploitation.
In March 2016, Professor John Drew published the findings of his independent review. His report found that “considerable lessons had been learned” and that there have been “significant improvements” since the Jay Report was published.
To read more about the review and the findings visit the website: www.drewreview.uk
In addition, Operation Stovewood, the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) independent investigation into child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) in Rotherham, which was requested by South Yorkshire Police, continues to make good progress.
Operation Stovewood is responsible for investigating reports of non-familial CSEA between 1997 and 2013, the geography and time period covered in the 2014 Professor Alexis Jay Report.
The NCA is working closely with Rotherham Council, local health agencies, the force and other public and third sector partners to ensure victims and survivors are provided with the right advice and support at all times and that current safeguarding issues arising from investigations are managed effectively.
By the end of October 2016, Operation Stovewood had identified more than 11,100 lines of inquiry requiring investigation and had engaged with over 134 identified victims and survivors. There are currently 17 separate investigations within Operation Stovewood.
Operation has made nine arrests, with further arrests expected to take place during 2016. Details will be published on the NCA website.
You can read more about Operation Stovewood in our frequently asked questions document.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission also continues to investigate a number of referrals from South Yorkshire Police in relation to its handling of child sexual exploitation. You can read more about this here.
The infograph and video below were released in August 2015, one year after the publication of the Jay Report. They offer a quick overview of the journey the force has taken to tackle child sexual exploitation, but we know that this journey is not over.
We are absolutely committed to working together to achieve justice, stop further harm and prevent future offending. Further down the page are some examples of recent court cases that have seen offenders of child sexual exploitation receive significant jail sentences.
To find out more about what the force is doing to tackle child sexual exploitation, you can read our frequently asked questions.
Click the infograph below to view a larger version.
This section gives you a break down into the number of referrals, live investigations and criminal proceedings currently taking place across the Force. We will update this section each month.
Referrals received monthly from March 2016
A referral to police is any concern that has been reported and can come from a number of sources including a school, social services or a concerned family member. It does not necessarily mean there has been an offence committed.
Officers fully investigate all referrals and where an offence has been committed, an investigation will be launched. In other cases where no criminal offences have taken place other agencies may offer support to the young person referred.
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Offences recorded monthly from March 2016
These are the number of offences that have been recorded monthly from the referrals received.
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Number of charges and cautions monthly from March 2016
This shows the number of charges from March 2016 with offences committed at any time not just the ones reported within that time period.
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This is the number of investigations we have across the force at this time.
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In this section, we will bring you news of people that have been charged or sentenced in relation to child sexual exploitation:
Eight years in prison for Rotherham man who raped 12-year-old girl - 5 January 2018
A 25-year-old man who was found guilty of raping a 12-year-old girl in Rotherham in 2015 has been jailed for eight years.
Brett Ashley McLaughlan appeared at Sheffield Crown Court to receive his sentence. He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life. Read more here.
Sheffield man jailed for 32-months for child sexual exploitation - 2 January 2018
28-year-old Liam Devere was jailed on Thursday 28 December for 32-months, after admitting sending sexually inappropriate messages to a Sheffield teenager.
Read more here.
16-years in prison for man who groomed victims across the UK - 15 December 2017
Craig Lewis, 54, from the Lincolnshire area, was sentenced to 16-years in prison after being found guilty of child grooming, sexual assault and causing a child to watch a sexual act.
Lewis abused three victims from Rotherham, Grimsby and Oxford. Read more here.
Man jailed for sexually abusing Rotherham girls - 27 November 2017
A 20-year-old man has been jailed for ten years after admitting sexually abusing three young girls in Rotherham in 2015.
Ben Chivers, formerly of Rawmarsh, Rotherham, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to rape and sexual activity with a child. Read more here.
Two more years in prison for Sheffield child abuser - 26 October 2017
Shane Whiteley, 30, convicted of multiple child sexual exploitation offences in Sheffield and jailed for eight years in April, has had two years added to his prison sentence.
Read more here.
Two men jailed for Rotherham child sexual exploitation have appeals rejected - 30 June 2017
Two brothers, Arshid and Basharat Hussain, have had their appeals overturned by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Two High Court judges.
The hearing took place at the Court of Appeal in Leeds yesterday (Thursday 29 June). Read more
Rotherham CSE investigation concludes with 21st conviction - 12 May 2017
A 45-year-old man has become the 21st person to be convicted and sentenced for child sexual exploitation offences in Rotherham.
Zalgai Ahmadi, formerly of Rotherham, was jailed for six years and nine months after being found guilty of sexually exploiting a child. Read more
Group jailed for over 40 years for child sexual exploitation in Sheffield - 28 April 2017
Four men and a woman have been jailed for 43 years after being found guilty of a series of child sexual exploitation offences at Sheffield Crown Court.
More information about their guilty convictions and sentences can be found here.
Men sentenced to more than 80 years behind bars for child sexual explotation- 2 February 2017
Six men have been sentenced to a combined 81 and a half years in prison for their role in the sexual explotaton of two children in Rotherham.
Men convicted of sexually exploiting Rotherham girls - 25 January 2017
Five men have been convicted of mutliple child sexual exploitation offences against two young girls in Rotherham.
A sixth defendant pleaded guilty to a child sexual offence in a court hearing last year. Read more
Man jailed for inciting sexual activity with child - 21 October 2016
A 23-year-old Doncaster man who used social media to groom a teenage girl has been jailed for four years.
Gareth Kelm, of Wordsworth Avenue, Balby, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 20 October). Read more
Group convicted of multiple child sexual offences in Rotherham - 17 October 2016
Eight men have been convicted of multiple child sexual exploitation offences against three young girls in Rotherham between 1999 and 2003. Read more
Rotherham man jailed for sexually abusing children and women - 14 October 2016
A 24-year-old man has been jailed for 22 years after admitting sexually abusing five women and girls in South Yorkshire.
Matthew Wood appeared at Manchester Crown Court to receive his sentence after pleading guilty to 15 offences against five victims at an earlier hearing. Read more
Rotherham man given community order for sexual offences against girls - 16 September 2016
A 20-year-old man has been given a three-year community order after admitting two sexual offences against two girls under the age of 16. Read more
Barnsley man jailed for 26 years for sexual offences - 7 September 2016
A man who abused two young girls over a six-year period has been jailed for 26 years after pleading guilty to 26 charges, including rape and sexual activity with a child.
Terry Gibbons, 44, of Kingsway, Thurnscoe, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court. Read more
Man jailed for sexually exploiting teenager - 5 August 2016
A 29-year-old man has been jailed for three years and eight months for sexually exploiting a teenage girl from Rotherham, as well as possessing indecent images and videos of children.
Lee Hatfield, of Manor Close, Rawmarsh, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court to receive his sentence after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing. Read more
Transforming child sexual exploitation services in Rotherham - 4 July 2016
Rotherham is transforming the way it deals with child sexual exploitation and now it is delivering a ground-breaking service to tackle it.
Evolve - the multi-agency specialist team tackling child sexual exploitation - moved into new premises in Rotherham on Friday 1 July. Read more
Global recognition for Operation Makesafe - 29 June 2016
The work of South Yorkshire Police and students from Sheffield Hallam University on Operation Makesafe, a child protection training package, has been recognised in a global study on the sexual exploitation of children in the travel and tourism industries. Read more
Man jailed for sexually abusing child in Doncaster - 29 June 2016
A 27-year-old man has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in Doncaster.
Mark Andrew Richmond, of Whitcomb Drive, Rossington, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday 28 June to receive his sentence after pleading guilty to sexual activity with a child at an earlier hearing. Read more
Rotherham man jailed for child sexual offences - 28 June 2016
A 39-year-old Rotherham man has been jailed for 12 years, with an extension of four years, for sexually abusing five children as well as possessing and distributing indecent images of children.
Jason Madden, of Leopold Street, Dinnington, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court today (Tuesday 28 June) to receive his sentence after pleading guilty to numerous offences at an earlier hearing. Read more
Man jailed for sexually abusing teenagers in Rotherham - 27 May 2016
A 44-year-old man has today (Friday 27 May) been jailed for ten years for sexually abusing two teenagers in Rotherham.
Stephen Smith, of Creighton Avenue, Rawmarsh, was found guilty of ten sexual offences (seven counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual activity and two counts of sexual activity with a child) following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court in February this year. Read more
20 years behind bars for Sheffield sex offender - 10 May 2016
A 50-year-old Sheffield man has been jailed for 20 years today (Tuesday 10 May) for sexually abusing vulnerable girls and women.
Owen Smith, of Hawley Street, Sheffield, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court after being found guilty of multiple sexual offences. Read more
SYP Atlas Court staff receive Operation Makesafe training - 18 March 2016
All Atlas Court and Crime Bureau staff for South Yorkshire Police, including call handlers and dispatchers, have received Operation Makesafe training as part of the force's continued commitment to tackling child sexual exploitation.
Operation Makesafe is a SYP child sexual exploitation training package that has been delivered to a number of industries including hotels and bus companies. Read more
Force to mark Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day - 17 March 2016
South Yorkshire Police and its partners will be taking part in a range of activities across the region to mark Child Sexual Exploitation Awarness Day 2016, which takes place tomorrow (Friday 18 March). Read more
Six charged with alleged child sexual exploitation offences in Sheffield - 11 March 2016
Five men and a woman have been charged with 53 child sexual offences relating to the alleged sexual exploitation of a number of girls in Sheffield. Read more
Man pleads guilty to child sexual offence - 8 February 2016
A 37-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a non-recent child sexual offence in court last week (Friday 5 February).
Amjad Ali, of Broad Lane, Worksop, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court and pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse with a girl under 13-years. Read more
Rotherham man jailed for online child sex crimes - 4 December 2015
A 41-year-old Rotherham man is beginning a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence today after admitting contacting young girls online and sending them sexually explicit messages.
Karl Astbury, of Central Drive, Thurcroft, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday 2 December to be sentenced after pleading guilty to eight child sexual offence charges at an earlier hearing. Read more
Man jailed for Rotherham child sexual offences - 4 November 2015
A 32-year-old man has been jailed for seven years for multiple child sexual offences against a girl in Rotherham.
Daniel Raymond Cooper, previously of Drummond Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 3 November) on the second day of his trial. Read more
The links below provide top tips for keeping safe.
For advice on how you can help spot the signs and protect young people from being exploited, please click on the links below.
Anyone with concerns about child sexual exploitation should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or call police on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
National helpline run by the National Working Group Network through the charity Missing People call or text: 116 000
If you think you may be a victim and need help in Barnsley please call: 01226 438831
If you think you may be a victim and need help in Doncaster call: 01302 737200
If you think you may be a victim and need help in Rotherham call: 01709 823987
If you think you may be a victim and need help in Sheffield call: 0114 2758411
Support for boys and young men: click here
You can also report online through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, click here
Everyday we receive many comments and questions about child sexual exploitation and the work we are doing. In order to answer these questions we have created a list of frequently asked questions, which will be updated regularly.