This overview report has been compiled, by taking account of the known child sexual exploitation in Peterborough, during the period 2010-2016. The report is focussed on the learning from Operation Erle which was the operational name of a multi-agency partnership investigation into child sexual exploitation in the City which spanned 2013 to 2015.
Although this report is based upon the experiences of those young people who were victims and witnesses under Operation Erle, it is extremely important to note that the experiences of these children and young people, whilst fundamentally important in their own right, are accepted by the partnership within Peterborough as being indicative of the experience of a wider group of young people who were also victims of child sexual exploitation at the time, and those who continue to be at risk today.
The joint investigation, Operation Erle, has received national praise for Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Peterborough Children’s Social Care, the Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board and its partners for how they tackled child sexual exploitation and continue to tackle the issue within the city. However, this must not for one moment diminish the suffering of all of the victims involved and they must be at the centre of any learning to try to prevent similar situations arising in the future.
This must be the overarching aim of the publication of this document: to promote the safeguarding of children and young people from child sexual exploitation, locally and nationally.
I would like to extend my thanks to those agencies who have contributed to the process of collating this document, the openness of their responses and their dedication to make improvements. The learning from this review must though be dedicated to the brave victims of child sexual exploitation and the frontline staff who went above and beyond to support them in their recovery.