The fifth ‘Superhero’ social media campaign to raise awareness of child exploitation has been launched and will run throughout this week.
The campaign is the brainchild of PC Rob Stevens of Northamptonshire Police who launched it four years ago. It is based on a very simple principle – Twitter users are asked to pledge their support by changing their avatars into their favourite superhero character for the duration of the campaign. This could be a cartoon character or a picture of somebody who is their personal superhero. They can then support the campaign further by retweeting campaign messages, using the hashtag #SuperHero19
Since 2015 when PC Stevens introduced the campaign on Twitter, it has gone from strength to strength and has gained the support of hundreds of thousands of Twitter users from across the globe. He said:
“Child protection is a subject very close to my heart – there is no greater priority than keeping our children safe and protecting them from exploitation.
“The response over the past four years has been humbling. This year I hope to reach even more people and I urge social media users to get creative and choose a superhero close to their hearts.
“Supporters are asked to circulate messages to raise awareness of CSE - how to spot it, how to prevent it and how to get help and support. I hope the campaign helps to stimulate conversation on this very important subject.”
Officers across the force have already changed their avatars in support of the campaign. Assistant Chief Constable James Andronov, regional lead for CSE, chose Beast Boy, who overcame adversity to join other superheros in the ‘Doom Patrol’ to fight crime.
He said: “This campaign has attracted enormous support over the past four years. Let’s make this year’s campaign even bigger - I urge anybody who hasn’t already to change their avatar and play a part in tackling the exploitation of children.
“The key to preventing it is by raising awareness and by adding your support to this campaign you can help to do just that.”
Help raise #CSE awareness with @PCStevens1368 using #SuperHero19