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Suffolk Constabulary backs national CSE Awareness Day 2016

Friday, 18th March 2016.

‘Think, spot and speak out’ against abuse are the key messages of the National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day campaign which is launched today (Friday 18 March).

The day is an opportunity to urge everyone to adopt a zero tolerance to CSE.

Child sexual exploitation is sexual abuse that involves children under the age of 18 being coerced or manipulated into sexual activity with adults or older children.

Offenders target vulnerable children and use emotional, financial or physical power over the child to sexually abuse them. Violence and intimidation are often part of the picture. Children can be given gifts, money, alcohol or drugs in exchange for sexual activity with the abuser. A total of 45,456 child sexual offences were recorded across the United Kingdom last year, an average of 114 a day.

In a new initiative to raise awareness of CSE and human trafficking, Suffolk Police and the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board will be working with hotel staff in the county to encourage greater understanding of the complex issues involved. Staff working in hotels may witness relevant suspicious behaviour on their premises and are being encouraged to look for the signs of abuse and criminal activity. The aim is to make Suffolk a hostile environment for those that want to abuse children, asking staff to ‘think, spot and speak out’ and report any concerns to the police.

NWG (formerly The National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People), a charitable organisation formed as a UK network of over 10,000 practitioners, is behind the Awareness Day. They are committed to the fight against CSE and support victims and their families who are have been subjected to child sexual exploitation.

Suffolk Constabulary is supporting this day of awareness raising and is taking to social media to bring home the message using the hashtags #HelpingHands and #SaySomething.

Detective Superintendent David Cutler of Suffolk Constabulary’s Protecting Vulnerable People Directorate said,
"CSE is a top priority for Suffolk Police. I want children to be safe and free from abuse.

"Child sexual exploitation puts the young victim at huge risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health. It can affect any child, anytime, anywhere regardless of their social or ethnic background.

"We have, and continue to, increase resources in this priority area of investigation and with our partners in Suffolk we are committed to bringing offenders to justice while providing a professional, supportive and caring service to those who have suffered such crimes.

"We work hard on preventing abuse, protecting children and young people at risk, identifying offenders and bringing them to justice. It’s really important that the public have the confidence to report their suspicions to us. Every report of CSE is followed up by a number of agencies working together to provide the best possible support to victims.

"We really encourage victims of any sexual assault to continue to come forward, and feel confident to do so, so that we can ensure they receive the specialist support they need. Any allegation made to us will be properly investigated. We work closely with partner agencies and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) to ensure there is help available to anyone who comes forward, regardless of whether they wish police to be involved. We will work with victims to ensure that the response by police and other agencies meet their needs.”

Important: If you think a child is in immediate danger; contact us straight away by calling 999.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said; "Protecting young victims of sexual exploitation has got to be an absolute priority for us all so I wholly endorse this campaign.

"It is imperative that we work together with other child support agencies to support and protect victims of this terrible, terrible crime. It is beyond my comprehension that vulnerable young people can be subjected to such horrific abuse. It is so malicious and can have a devastating and lasting impact on young lives.

"I am totally committed to zero tolerance to Child Sexual Exploitation, and would ask anyone who has any suspicion to ‘Think, spot and speak out’.

"Extra resources have been invested to bring these appalling criminals to justice, and to provide counselling for victims to help them rebuild their shattered lives.”

Warning signs to look out for

- Staying out late or period of going missing overnight or longer

- Older ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ or relationship with a controlling adult

- Physical injury without plausible explanation

- Entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults

- Unexplained amounts of money, expensive clothing or other items

- Lack of engagement with education

- Drugs or alcohol misuse

- Unusual or increased use of mobile phone and/or the internet that causes concern

Help and support

Whether you are an adult concerned about the welfare of a child you know, or if you are a child who is upset about something that is happening to you, there is help and support available.

Parents can visit the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre's (CEOP) 'Thinkuknow' website at: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/ for more information.

If you are concerned about someone’s behaviour towards your child, you can report this directly to CEOP via www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre.

If you are a child or young person worried or upset talk to an adult you know well and trust.

If you don't have anyone you can talk to, you can call ChildLine for free. You can talk about any problem and there will always be someone there to help you.

0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk

Suffolk’s Children Services
Tel: 0808 800 4005.

Customer First is a specialist call centre with trained staff who know about the services that are available to offer and who can help.

Other helplines include:
NWG Network -
If you’re not sure who the best organisation is to contact then call NWG on 01332 585371 and they will put you in touch with the right people to help you.

Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) helpline 0113 240 3040. http://paceuk.info/

For more information on the day visit:www.stop-cse.org/national-child-exploitation-awareness-day/

Haverhill Online News

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