'Exploiting - Exploited: Grooming and Radicalisation' (11 Oct 2016)

Front line professionals from across the region will come together in Leeds on Wednesday (October 12) in a bid to better protect people from the risk of exploitation.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Radicalisation are the focus of the one day event which will share learning, experiences and insight with 350 practitioners from a number of public services, including law enforcement, health and education.

The safeguarding conference 'Exploiting - Exploited: Grooming and Radicalisation' will explore the issues and triggers surrounding exploitation, using case studies and best practice to highlight the importance of identifying vulnerability and early opportunities for intervention.

Presentations will further examine the issue of mental health in cases of self-radicalisation, the methods used by offenders to target individuals and the role of technology within the grooming process.

The partnership conference has been organised by the Police and the NHS as part of their shared commitment to safeguarding people from extremism and CSE.

Detective Superintendent Nik Adams is the Regional Prevent Delivery Co-ordinator for the North East Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU). He said: "Sexual predators and extremists continue to exploit vulnerable people to further their own objectives.

"The techniques used to groom individuals for child sexual exploitation may also be used to radicalise individuals, including in the online space. Recognising common factors across these cases is key for all professionals if we are to intervene early and offer the right support to those affected.

"Alongside our partners we have a responsibility to protect people from grooming and radicalisation wherever possible. Increasing awareness of the techniques and triggers which may influence this process is a vital part of reducing the reach of predators and extremists and understanding who may be targeted.

"Safeguarding is integral to the delivery of Prevent policing in the North East region. Our primary aim is to protect the vulnerable and to prevent them from being drawn into activity which may place them in danger, or encourage them to commit offences."

Chris Stoddart, Regional Prevent Coordinator at NHS England (Yorkshire and the Humber) said: "We are proud to be supporting this conference, safeguarding is one of our key priorities and we have staff members across Yorkshire and the Humber working hard to raise awareness of and share information about child sexual exploitation and radicalisation.

"We are really looking forward to this event and feel it will be a great opportunity to share ideas and take away incredibly valuable learning on challenging issues."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said "Tackling child sexual exploitation and radicalisation are key priorities for everyone and we all have a responsibility to safeguard our communities. A whole host of factors can potentially make an individual more vulnerable to CSE and radicalisation. It is crucial that we work together across the community to identify those at risk and put in prevention measures before anyone comes to harm.

"This event was the latest step in ensuring a truly joined up partnership approach to tackling these priorities both across the region and locally in our communities."

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