A detective specialising in child sexual exploitation said he would be happy to see the numbers of reports of the crime go up in Northamptonshire if it meant catching more perpetrators.
Detective Inspector Richard Tompkins leads an recently-increased team of 20 officers at Northamptonshire Police dedicated to tackling Child sex exploitation, which is sexual abuse of young boys or girls, often by persuading them with gifts.
He said: “We are encouraging awareness and that will inevitably lead to the figures increasing but I have no problem with that at all.
“Exploitation must be going on undetected at the moment and we want to know about it so we can deal with it as soon as possible.
“If that leads to a jump in the reporting figures then that means we are having a positive effect.”
DI Tompkins was speaking at the launch of a ‘toolkit’ for frontline staff in Nothamptonshire who deal with child safeguarding.
It is a new integrated assessment tool and a suite of useful resources that offer workers the relevant advice and detail the course of action they need to take to safeguard a young person who may be at risk.
Julie Dugdale, of Barnardo’s training and consultancy, said: “Barnardo’s has been working closely with Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board to deliver its Safeguarding Training. We welcome the new locally developed toolkit, which is an excellent resource for practitioners. “