Young sexual exploitation victims are being urged to tell police after 16 teenagers reported sex crimes to Cambridgeshire Police since January

Embrace Child Victims of Crime

Embrace Child Victims of Crime - Credit: Archant

A total of 16 teenagers in Cambridgeshire have spoken out about being a victim of sexual exploitation since January, according to figures from police.

Embrace Child Victims of Crime, a charity that gives support to young victims and witnesses, received the 16 referrals from teenagers who were either victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE) or were at significant risk of being a victim.

Det Sgt Kath McCready said: “CSE often goes unnoticed but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. The reality is that it is taking place across Cambridgeshire.

“We are working hard to try and educate and make young people aware of this type of exploitation and encourage them, if they feel they are a victim, to come forward.”

Embrace chief executive Anne Campbell said: “Every year we receive more sex-crime related referrals than any other type of crime. In recent years this has accounted for two thirds of all referrals.

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“Our aim is to help as many young victims and witnesses to serious crime, including CSE, as possible and help them come to terms with what has happened, recover and move on towards achieving their potential.

“Low self-esteem and a lack of aspiration are sadly common amongst those young people we help. Often they just need someone to talk to, someone who will listen and be non-judgemental.”

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The police work in partnership with local authorities, safeguarding boards and local and national charities to ensure victims receive the on-going support they may need.

To report child sexual exploitation call 101. In an emergency always call 999. For support from Embrace, email or call 0800 60 999 60.

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