More than 220 people who work with children and young people have recently attended presentations to help raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE), in an initiative aimed at safeguarding more of the county’s children.
The events are being organised through the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) as a joint initiative between police, county and district councils.
At the free events, the audience learn how to spot the signs of CSE, how to report concerns and how communities have an important part to play in preventing it happening to local children.
Afterwards they have the opportunity to talk to specialist CSE officers, staff and local council members and to network with others working in the community.
So far, events have taken place in South Northamptonshire, Wellingborough, Corby and Northampton with three further events due to take place across the County.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Tompkins, from the force’s public protection command, is one of the speakers at the events.
He said: “CSE destroys lives and we need to do all we can to prevent it – we all have a duty to safeguard our children.
“Everybody who works in the community and with young people is in a prime position to be our eyes and ears and to report any concerns they have about a child showing signs of vulnerability.
“Everybody needs to recognise that child sexual exploitation is the rape and abuse of children and do all they can to stop it happening. A key message at these events is ‘say something if you see something’ - there is no greater priority for Northamptonshire Police and its partners.”
Anyone interested in attending one of the free events should contact Northamptonshire County Council CSE Policy Officer Lisa Wilkins on LWilkins@northamptonshire.gov.uk
A range of literature and training materials have been produced in a concerted bid to train the counties workers to understand the issue of CSE and the part they play in helping prevent it. These are bespoke for different groups – the Community and Volunteering document circulated at these sessions is attached.
Training materials are also available for Schools, Taxis, Licensed Premises and Hotels – these can be accessed via the NSCB website http://www.northamptonshirescb.org.uk/