On the Second Day of Christmas, the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team gave to you…..
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Police in Northampton are stepping up the fight against crime in the run up to Christmas. On the second of 12 days of intensity, the focus has been on raising awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Yesterday (Sunday, December 13) neighbourhood team officers and PCSOs, along with staff from the Paedophile Online Exploitation (POLIT) and Reducing Incidents of Sexual Exploitation (RISE) teams carried out a day of action to raise awareness of CSE. They spent the day engaging with staff from local takeaways, hotels and taxi firms, and visiting locations where young people are known to gather. Staff at these establishments are in prime positions to spot something amiss among their customers.
Throughout the day, the teams:
Visited 12 Hotels across Northampton, speaking with staff and management about the signs to look out for which may indicate a child may be vulnerable to exploitation in their hotels. Officers received extremely positive feedback with staff accepting the posters and agreeing to share the learning and remind their teams of their duty to help protect the vulnerable.
Interviewed a man from Northampton in relation to the possession of indecent images of children. As a result, safeguarding referrals and actions have been completed for five children.
Contacted nine taxi firms across Northampton and bought the topic of CSE to their attention, providing further information on how they can obtain advice should they have any concerns about their customers.
Patrolled town centre locations where people gather and engaged with several groups of young people.
PC Ethan McCullen from the Northampton Priority Area Team, said: “CSE is a form of child abuse and is illegal - it is the deliberate exploitation of a child for the sexual gratification of adults and it affects both boys and girls of any ethnicity.
“Evidence shows that hotels and businesses like takeaways and bars are often used as locations to meet, groom and abuse children. We urge people to ‘say something if you they see something’ that doesn’t look right. We will not tolerate the abuse of children and we are ready and waiting to bring those who target children for sexual exploitation to justice.”
Spot the signs
Young people who are being sexually exploited may:
be involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations;
hang out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable peers;
associate with other young people involved in sexual exploitation;
get involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership;
have older boyfriends or girlfriends;
spend time at places of concern, such as hotels or known brothels;
not know where they are, because they have been moved around the country; and