Operation Quartz

Gwent Police Operation into Child Sexual Exploitation

Gwent Police have a specialist CSE team who work under the operational name ‘Quartz’ (previously Artemis). This team work to collect sound intelligence to drive proactive investigations to protect those most vulnerable. It works to the Association of Chief Police Officers) ACPO definition of CSE;

•             Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where the young person (or third person) receive ‘something’ e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts money) as a result of them performing, and/or others performing on them sexual activities

•             Child Sexual Exploitation can occur through use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.

The intelligence requirement for operation Quartz is:

•             The identification of victims/risks and vulnerabilities

•             Identification of offenders

•             Locations of concerns

•             Social media usage

•             Understanding how opportunities to ‘groom’ are brokered by offenders.

Under the identification of victims the guidance is clear that Missing is a direct indicator and that officers should check the MIRAF for multi-agency information. However, as we found when we researched the issues in relation to missing under ‘Breaking the Cycle’ front line workers need to have specific training as they don’t have time to seek out protocols and guidance so opportunities to identify still get missed.

Quartz operates under ‘4 P’s’:

•             Prepare

•             Protect

•             Prevent

•             Pursue