Campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation ramps up
A local campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation is being stepped up in Telford to help people recognise the signs and know who to talk to if they have concerns.
The Tell Someone campaign, which was first launched in March 2017, is supported by the local Safeguarding Children Board, West Mercia Police and Telford & Wrekin Council.
Education and prevention have been the focus of the campaign since its launch, with police and Council officers providing regular training for businesses about the steps staff can take if they suspect anything untoward. Training has been given to hotels, licensed premises, taxi firms, Telford Shopping Centre and other businesses across the borough. Assemblies in schools have been another focus for the officers over the past year.
Child sexual exploitation, however, remains an issue for towns and cities across the UK. Authorities in Telford are committed to doing all they can to eradicate this vile crime and are this month stepping up communications around the Tell Someone campaign to raise awareness of the signs to look out for, who to contact and the support available.
Andrew Mason, independent chair of the Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Child sexual exploitation is everyone’s business. We all need to look out for our children. Knowing the signs to look out for, who to speak to if you are worried and what support is available are what Tell Someone aims to explain. Take a look at the website and please help spread the word, as working together is key to tackling this disgusting crime.”
Local policing commander for Telford, Superintendent Tom Harding said: "Child sexual exploitation has been a priority for me since I took up my role two years go and during that time we have carried out a lot of work, in conjunction with Telford & Wrekin Council and other agencies, to tackle the issue, and are seeing some positive outcomes.
"However, we are not complacent and child sexual exploitation is still a priority for me. A dedicated team of officers work closely with the Council’s CATE team to identify those who could be at risk of being targeted to make sure measures are in place to protect them. It is often the case that young people may not realise that what is happening to them is exploitation or they may not feel able to seek help if they are being pressured into activities they are uncomfortable with. The Tell Someone campaign is not just raising awareness of the signs, but also where people can go for help and support."
Do you know the signs of child sexual exploitation? Do you feel comfortable talking to your child about what is and isn't appropriate in a relationship? Would you know if a friend was being sexually exploited? For advice visit www.tell-someone.org.
If you are worried about the way you are being treated or about someone else, call 101, or if someone is in immediate danger always call 999.
[This information is being shared on behalf of the Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board]