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Preventing the exploitation of children, young people and adults in the West Midlands is a key priority for the Violence Reduction Unit.

Our mission

Preventing the exploitation of children, young people and adults at risk in the West Midlands is a key priority for the Violence Reduction Partnership. We are determined to support communities and organisations to: better identify and report exploitation concerns; to take prompt and effective action to stop harm from occurring; to support victims to recover and to thrive; and to ensure that the West Midlands becomes a place where it is no longer possible to exploit our most vulnerable communities.

What is the VRP Doing?

We have established an Exploitation and Missing Regional Strategic Board which brings together different agencies to improve the response to children and young people who are at risk of or experiencing exploitation. 

In practical terms this means we are:

  • Increasing information sharing between organisations so we can better understand the problem and respond to it.
  • Making sure our children and young people are kept safe and prevented from being exploited by ensuring they have access to the right services across the West Midlands.
  • Ensuring that training is available to everybody, no matter what their role, so that they are in a good position to identify the signs of exploitation as early as possible and know what to do when they see it.
  • Reviewing the services that are available for young people when they turn 18 and how adult services are equipped to support them.
  • Learning from other areas of the country and sharing good practice.

If you are a professional…

the Violence Reduction Partnership strives to support front line practitioners, professionals and workforces to work towards tackling and preventing all age exploitation. Below you will find resources, toolkits, best practice guides, training videos, awareness campaigns, victim support service directories and guidance relating to the tackling exploitation and abuse sector.

Below are services professionals can refer into:

St Giles Trust Expect Respect: The team will support young females 18 years and under on the periphery, or entrenched within Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE), gangs, county lines, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). In order to address this growing need, they will provide a 360-degree service that includes training for professionals, prevention and early intervention and support. This project will develop a gender-specific approach to CSE/CCE addressing the nuances and hidden violence young women and girls can face from gangs.

The service has been staffed by relatable, culturally competent female staff who have lived experience of the issues they are supporting YWGs through (insecurity, gangs, CSE & CCE). To make a referral contact: [email protected] – 07471 992520

St Giles Trust Custody Based Reachable Moment: The aim of the reachable moment service in custody is to embed credible lived experience and culturally competent workers into the two main custody suites across the West Midlands Police force area: Perry Barr & Oldbury.  The workers will offer timely and tailored support to young people up to the age of 25 affected by criminal activities, gangs and related issues such as carrying weapons, violence, county lines and wider exploitation during this “reachable moment” of arrest. The service will use a trauma-informed approach to provide support in a number of areas (e.g. housing, finances, substance misuse, mental health, training, employment, family matters). Initial contact is made in custody suites, followed by meeting in the community to provide tailored support.

Support services the WM VRP do not commission but do support to coordinate across the region are:

Catch22 County Lines Support Service: The caseworkers will provide one-to-one support to young people and their families, working closely with other agencies and professionals and tailoring the support to each young person’s individual needs and circumstances. To discuss the service further or for details of how to refer a young person to the Support Service please contact: [email protected]

Catch22 Rescue & Response Service: They deliver a rescue service, with “out-of-hours” capacity, to secure the safe return home, at a critical teachable moment, of young people from the West Midlands who are identified outside of their home police force area as a result of their involvement in county lines activity.

The Rescue Service is available 7 days a week from 9am – 10pm. A referral form for the Rescue Service can be found HERE

If you are a parent/community member…

and you have concerns around exploitation and abuse it can be frightening and distressing, but there’s help for you, your family and wider community. Below you will find signposts to support service directories, helpful guides, awareness videos and advice about how to spot and report the signs of exploitation and advice on how to report anonymously any information you may have about crime

If you are a child/young person…

or adult at risk and you’re in immediate danger please call the police on 999, in non-emergency situations please call 101. If you are not in immediate danger, below you will find helpful support services you can contact and advice on how to report anonymously any information you may have about crime

If you would like to get in touch with us for help or further information on our WM VRP tackling exploitation and abuse services please email: [email protected]

Exploitation & Missing Awareness Videos:

Exploitation & Missing Resources:

Exploitation & Missing Guides:

Exploitation & Missing Support Websites/Services:

West Midlands Locality

  • West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s victims help page – https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/victims/for-victims/modern-slavery/ (universal resource)
  • Adavu Project (Birmingham Methodist District)-Supports adult victims to cope and recover from Modern Slavery. i[email protected] or Liisa Wiseman on 07766 851 838 (universal resource)
  • The Salvation Army – have a 24/7 confidential referral helpline for exploitation victims, which can be called on 0800 808 3733 (universal resource)
  • Black County Women’s Aid Modern Slavery Support service  https://blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk/services/modern-slavery/
  • West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network Develop an effective regional multi-agency anti-slavery network to raise awareness, reduce the threat and harm of slavery and rescue and support victims of slavery in the West Midlands geographical area. https://www.westmidlandsantislavery.org/
  • West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network SafePlace: Supporting male survivors post-exploitation/pre-NRM. Safe accommodation for up to 10 days to allow access to emergency support needs, access information on rights and entitlements and make an informed decision about access to support. Contact: Davina Woollery, Operations Manager – 07708 185364 or [email protected] 
  • Victim Support -Supporting victims of all crimes Home – Victim Support
  • The Salvation Army Post-Exit Survivor Support Service Coventry – Contact: Gill Spatcher on [email protected]
  • The Salvation Army Survivor Support Service Birmingham Contact: Melpo Economou on [email protected]
  • The Salvation Army Adult Victims of Modern Slavery Victim Care and Coordination Services (AVMS) – Accommodation and outreach support for adult victims of modern slavery & human trafficking within England & Wales that have entered the NRM Contact: 0300 303 8151 or [email protected]
  • Sophie Hayes Foundation: Moving survivors into employability, by taking best practice in coaching, facilitation and training. We support survivors of trafficking through group workshops to build safe spaces for sharing and confidence building. One to one coaching. Vocational voluntary and work placements offering access to training, education, or formal learning. Community Forum events for ongoing learning and development Contact: [email protected]
  • Sifa Fireside: Holistic Hub and drop-in support service for adults who are homeless, vulnerably housed, or rough sleeping. Clients with multiple and complex need including identified adult victims of modern slavery – Self-refer by dropping in at: 48 – 52 Allcock Street, Birmingham B9 4DY.
  • Barnardo’s ICTGS (Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship Service): Independent Child Trafficking Advocates – providing advocacy and support to child victims of Modern Slavery, trafficking, and exploitation. Home Office funded, under s48 Modern Slavery Act. Support includes- immigration, support through criminal justice system, advocacy in key meetings and for key decisions, access to legal representation, advocacy for access to education etc. Click here to access referall form: Interim guidance for Independent Child Trafficking Guardians – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/helping-children/childrens-society-west-midlands – Children’s Society: Young people’s services in the Midlands: working at the heart of the communities to support children, young people and families

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