PCC backs national awareness campaign to raise awareness of CSE
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston, is backing a national campaign to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
The NWG Network charity is behind the drive to raise awareness of the crime and to encourage people not to ignore the signs if they believe a child is being abused and sexually exploited.
As part of the campaign a two-day conference will take place in Nottingham, a national awareness day will take place on Wednesday March 18 and people are also urged to post photos on social media of their hands with a pledge to, for example, be vigilant for victims of abuse or help educate people about CSE.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, is supporting the campaign.
He said: “I have repeatedly said that nothing matters more than protecting our children.
“As with many other “hidden harms” – such as domestic abuse, elder abuse and modern slavery – the sexual exploitation of children is happening here in Essex, in our communities.
“In fact we have already seen one such horrific case appear before our courts in the county last year.
“CSE, commonly, involves the exploitation of children, under the age of 18, who find themselves in situations or relationships where they are offered something in exchange for performing or taking part in sexual acts.
“These children may find themselves groomed by perpetrators online, but they may also be exploited by someone they know.
“What is clear is that, whilst police have a responsibility to investigate this heinous crime, as a community we must all do our part to be vigilant and look out for signs that a child is being exploited and sexually abused. And, if you suspect CSE is taking place, then you must come forward to police to report it.
“Children who are being sexually exploited often do not have a voice, but as a community, we do, and we must make sure we, and they, are heard where CSE is taking place.
“Both I and Essex Police remain wholly committed to tackling the growing challenges of CSE and I would urge people not only to support this campaign on social media, but to support our children in being vigilant.”
Research has shown that on average it takes seven years for children to disclose sexual abuse as they either have no one they trust to turn to, no one who listens or no one who asks.
The Children’s Commissioner has estimated that 16,500 children are at high risk of being exploited for sex across UK towns and cities.
For further information about CSE visit http://www.stop-cse.org/
You can support the campaign by posting your photograph to social media with the hashtag #helpinghands #CSEDay15