Warwickshire Police, Barnardo’s and Warwickshire County Council are supporting the National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day (18 March) by running an awareness week, beginning on Monday (12 March).
Throughout the week, police will be raising awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) to the public, businesses, parents, professionals and young people who may be worried about their friends.
Police, Barnardo’s and the council form the multi-agency team in Warwickshire and are behind the Something’s Not Right campaign aiming to raise awareness and tackle CSE at the early stages. Anyone with concerns about a child should visit www.somethingsnotright.org for more information on how to recognise the signs of exploitation, spot when something’s not right and where to get help.
Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Jones from Warwickshire Police said: “Together with our partners we are working to inform, educate and prevent child sexual exploitation.
“If people know what to look out for they can take steps to help a child that is being exploited. Everyone in society has a responsibility to do all they can to protect vulnerable young people.
“CSE can affect young people from all walks of life, there is no stereotypical victim of exploitation but there are warning signs in children’s behaviour that may indicate something’s not right. It is important that everyone can recognise these warning signs and know where to turn to for help so that interventions can be put in place at the earliest opportunity.”
Detective Chief Inspector Jones added: “Research shows that often young people who have experienced sexual abuse and exploitation by an adult or peer don’t tell anyone else about it. If a child finds the courage to confide in a person, whoever they may be, they must listen and take the appropriate action.”
Rachel Hopper, CSE Manager for Warwickshire said: Warwickshire’s partnership approach to tackling CSE means that we are able to effectively support victims, as well as targeting locations of concern and pursuing offenders. The addition of Barnardo’s nationally recognised CSE specialism within the team enables therapeutic, evidence-based support to be provided to victims of CSE in Warwickshire”
Cllr Jeff Morgan, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “Many agencies are working together with the shared aim of tackling CSE in Warwickshire. For Warwickshire County Council this forms a key part of our commitment to putting children at the heart of all we do and keeping all our residents safe from harm.
“Members of the Public also have a key role to play. It is crucial that they tell us when they see something that’s not right. If you see something’s not right, chances are, you are right.”
If you are – or know anyone who is – being sexually exploited, please call us on 101 (always call 999 in an emergency).
If you’re worried about the way someone is treating you, or someone else. If Something’s Not Right, call or text the Say Something helpline on 116 000. It’s anonymous and free.