Working together to enhance police responses to child sexual exploitation and related vulnerabilities
We are the core staff in the National Hub. Regionally, we cover London, the East and Yorkshire and Humber:
Dr Helen Beckett
Lead Academic of the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub
Bio: Dr Helen Beckett is a Reader in Child Protection and Children’s Rights and Joint Director of ‘The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking’ at the University of Bedfordshire.
She has twenty years’ experience of undertaking and managing applied social research, across academia and the voluntary and statutory sectors, with a particular specialism in CSE and related adolescent safeguarding issues. Helen is experienced in both qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation, and holds particular expertise in ethical means of researching sensitive issues and facilitating the meaningful engagement of children and young people within this. She has published and presented widely on CSE and regularly consults on research, policy and practice in this field.
Dr. Debbie Allnock
Project Manager of the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub
Bio: Dr. Debbie Allnock is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Trafficking and Violence. Debbie received her PhD from the University of Bristol in the Centre for Gender Violence.
She has worked closely with the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation, providing research support and now project manages the new CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub at the Centre. She has previously worked across a range of child protection research posts, with specific interest and expertise in the field of child sexual abuse.
Lead for the young people's engagement with the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub
Bio: Fiona’s professional background is in youth work. She has been associated with the International Centre at the University of Bedfordshire since 2011 when she was involved in a research project looking at ‘gang-associated’ sexual exploitation and violence.
In this role she managed and coordinated the six research sites and worked with four groups of young people to make films on this issue www.beds.ac.uk/gasev. More recently she has been working with Beyond Youth Custody, www.beyondyouthcustody.net exploring the resettlement needs of young people leaving prison.
Bio: Brian joined the International Centre at the University of Bedfordshire in March 2016 on a 12 month secondment. His police career over 25 years has been spent mostly as a Detective at Constable, Sergeant and Inspector level.
He has experience working in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Major Crime Team, Domestic abuse investigation Unit and was the project manager for setting up forcewide PVP (Protecting Vulnerable People) Referral Centres (now MASH) and more recently piloted a new proactive programme to enhance police and multi-agency responses to safeguarding vulnerable missing children. He is now the Project Coordinator for the new CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub at the Centre.
Dr Carlene Firmin MBE
Senior Research Fellow, providing expertise on peer-to-peer abuse
Bio: Dr Carlene Firmin MBE is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, where she leads their work on peer-on-peer abuse and exploitation and heads the work of the MsUnderstood partnership
Carlene also acts a consultant to local authorities and voluntary sector organisations developing contextual responses to adolescent safeguarding, and has engaged with professionals in 54 local authorities on this matter since 2013. Prior to this Carlene was the Principal Policy Advisor to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, Assistant Director of Policy and Research at children’s charity Barnardo’s,and for five years researched the impact of criminal gangs on women and girls, at the charity Race on the Agenda.
Dr. Camille Warrington
Senior Research Fellow, providing expertise on children and young people's participation
Bio: Dr Camille Warrington is the lead for young people’s participation in ‘The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking’ at the University of Bedfordshire and oversees the ethical framework for children’s participation in research at the centre.
Over the last 12 years Camille has developed and facilitated a range of creative, participatory projects seeking to further meaningful dialogue between young people, policy makers and researchers. In June 2013 she completed a doctorate exploring service users involvement in decision making about their care. She currently manages the Making Noise research project for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, exploring children’s experiences of help-seeking and support following sexual abuse in the family network. Related recent research areas include research for HMIC exploring children’s experiences of contact with the police because of safeguarding concerns (Beckett, Warrington, Ackerley and Allnock, 2016); a participatory study of young people’s experiences of criminal justice processes in child sexual exploitation cases (Beckett and Warrington 2015); and research on children and unreported crime (Beckett and Warrington 2014).
Research Assistant for the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub
Bio: Joanne is an early career researcher with an interest in applied social research. She joined the International Centre at the University of Bedfordshire in August 2015 and is currently working across a range of projects, including the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub.
Prior to joining the University, Joanne spent three years working for a number of charity and statutory organisations, monitoring, analysing and evaluating research, policy and practice pertaining to child sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Research Administrator for the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub
Bio: Studied BSc (Hons) Business Studies at Cass Business School, graduating with a First Class Honours. Now working as the Research Administrator for the CSE and Policing Knowledge Hub.
Professor Jenny Pearce OBE
Chair of Project Leadership Team
Bio: Jenny Pearce is Professor of Young People and Public Policy at the University of Bedfordshire, and Joint Director of the International Centre where she manages programs of applied child centred, child protection research.
She is the Chair of the Academic Advisory Board to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse 2015 ongoing, and is a panel member of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England inquiry into child sexual abuse within the family environment. Her research and consultancy focuses on preventing sexual violence against children and she works with a range of national and international agencies towards this aim.
Our Consultants :
Dr. Julie Harris
Consultant to the Knowledge Hub, evaluation methods
Bio: Dr Julie Harris is a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire and is the Evaluation Development Manager within the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking. She is currently managing a four year longitudinal evaluation of sixteen specialist sexual exploitation services in England.
With an early career rooted in social welfare practice with children, she has some twenty years’ experience in research and evaluation and is an experienced manager of people and projects. Working with services that support marginalised and excluded communities of young people often with complex and overlapping vulnerabilities, she specialises in realist evaluation and in the development of co-produced approaches to measuring the outcomes of social welfare intervention. Prior to joining the University in 2013, she was Assistant Director for Research and Outcome Evaluation in the Strategy Unit at Barnardo’s, where she had also held the organisational lead for child sexual exploitation and trafficking.