EXCLUSIVE: Police issue child safety leaflet in wake of JFS downgrade

‘The London Child Exploitation Operating Protocol’ was created in conjunction with PaJeS


The Metropolitan Police has published a child protection leaflet aimed specifically at the Jewish community just two weeks after Ofsted pinpointed safeguarding failures at prominent north London school JFS. 

The leaflet, ‘The London Child Exploitation Operating Protocol’, was created in conjunction with PaJeS, the Jewish Leadership Council’s schools network. 

Targeted at parents, teachers and the wider community, it identifies various forms of child exploitation and sets out what to do when evidence of any type of abuse is suspected or discovered.

The protocol covers all the main areas of child exploitation, including drug dealing, sexual imagery produced by youths and identified in schools, peer-on-peer abuse, online abuse and child trafficking. 

The leaflet includes a forward from Rabbi David Meyer, Executive Director of PaJeS, which says: “We must recognise that the youth of today are growing up in an environment that is presenting greater challenges for our children today than there have ever been in the past.” He added:
“We must not stand idly by, and it is incumbent on each of us to intervene and help protect and support our children, whether at home, in school, in the synagogue, at youth group, or just out and about.”

The publication of the protocol comes two weeks after JFS was downgraded to “inadequate” and amid growing concerns about child safety. Inspectors highlighted “deep-rooted and widespread failings in the school’s safeguarding culture.” PaJeS said the timing was coincidental. 

One pupil, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have always felt the school did not care about us as individuals, just its reputation. 

“They brought people in to talk to us who were totally unrelatable and didn’t help us in any way. 

“When there have been issues with sexual harassment between pupils or bullying we didn’t feel we could go to the school for help. 

“I think because the school is so big they ought to have sixth-form mentors to help the younger people deal with issues rather than having to go to teachers.” DCI Mark Rogers said: “Across society people don’t realise what the risks facing young people are.”

He added: “The MPS have undertaken a great deal of work with Jewish communities throughout London and with the support of PaJeS they have tailored the 2021 Pan London Operating Protocol to ensure it reaches all parts of the Jewish community.”

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