National Child Sexual
Exploitation Awareness Day
MERSEYSIDE Police, the Office of the
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and our partners are taking part in a day of
action as part of National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day, on
Saturday, 18 March 2017. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of
CSE and gather information by working alongside colleagues from partner agencies
including:- the PCC, Catch 22, Merseytravel, National Express, British Transport
Police (BTP) and Taxi Licensing.
They will be focussing on areas where young people congregate, including:-
parks, fast food restaurants, and Train and Bus Stations.
Catch 22 is a social business, which has been commissioned by the PCC to work
with High Schools and Colleges across Merseyside on initiatives to promote CSE
awareness and educational charity Ariel Trust has been funded to work with Year
6 children at various Primary Schools across the force area to deliver training
The PCC has also funded a theatrical production entitled:- 'On 1 Condition'
which explores the exploitation of young people, and has already been introduced
to several High Schools in Merseyside and been running during this week.
CSE posters and advice cards will also be distributed to young people and
businesses during the day, as Officers and partners speak to people across the
Detective Chief Inspector John Middleton from the Protecting Vulnerable People
Unit said:- "Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness of CSE and
the work we will be carrying out tomorrow and beyond will encourage people to
think, spot and speak out against abuse. CSE involves offenders grooming young
people and using their power to sexually abuse them. This can take many forms,
from a seemingly consensual relationship with an older partner, or young person
having sex in return for gifts. Education plays a massive part in understanding
CSE and we need to emphasise that not only is this behaviour unacceptable, it is
criminal. Sometimes young people being abused do not realise they are at risk
and will not ask for help. But with your understanding and information, we will
continue to target, warn and bring offenders to justice. Throughout the day, we
will be talking to members of our communities including those whose role brings
them into regular contact with young people, such as shop workers, taxi drivers
and hotel employees. There are warning signs everyone can look out for and take
steps to help."
Merseyside's Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Sue Murphy said:- "National
CSE Day is an important opportunity for us all to raise awareness of the damage
that Child Sexual Exploitation causes and of the potential warning signs of this
horrific crime so that everyone, particularly young people themselves, know what
to look out for and how to keep themselves safe. We know that young victims may
not recognise that they are being exploited and the term ?CSE' may mean nothing
to them. Our Youth Advisory Group tell us that we need to talk louder, more
openly, and more frankly about this topic with young people and that is what
today's event aims to do. It is a great example of how different agencies can
work together to get young people thinking about how to protect themselves,
while encouraging adults who work in key sectors to be vigilant, equipping them
with the information they need if they spot the tell tale warning signs."