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New Senior Police Officers Launch Complex Exploitation Team

Alert message sent 23/06/2020 14:46:00

Information sent on behalf of Cleveland Police

Cleveland Police has renewed its commitment to protecting vulnerable children and adults with the launch of the Complex Exploitation Team.

The work of the team is being driven by two new appointments into Cleveland Police – Superintendent Phil Bond who previously worked at Northumbria Police and Detective Chief Inspector Shaun Page who has joined the force from North Yorkshire Police.

The team focuses on identifying vulnerable people at risk of being exploited for criminal gain, and working with partner agencies to prevent exploitation and bring offenders to justice.
These could be children who regularly go missing, or people who are being groomed into working for drug gangs on county lines. They often don’t see themselves as victims and are exploited and offered money or goods as a reward. 

Today, the Complex Exploitation Team carried out a warrant at a property on Cornforth Avenue in Berwick Hills with officers from neighbourhood policing, operational support, and the dog section to gather intelligence on suspected exploitation.

A quantity of drugs, believed to be heroin and methadone was recovered. A 45-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply and is in police custody.
Detective Chief Inspector Shaun Page said: “The exploitation of children is child abuse and all children are vulnerable to exploitation, not just specific groups. Cleveland Police and partners will always put the safety of children first. The key to the success of our collective work will be strong partnership collaboration to identify vulnerable children and ensure we can develop solutions and intervene to prevent harm.

“This form of abuse occurs in every community. Part of our renewed work will be to help communities in how recognise the signs of exploitation. Children will not see themselves as victims so the police and partners have a duty to work together to identify and respond to them. Child abuse destroys lives. We therefore need to be patient with the victims and be relentless against those who choose to harm them.”
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Amy Ridden (Police, Corporate Comms, Cleveland)

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