National CSE Awareness Day 2017
16 Mar 2017 11:00 AM[View Full Size]
Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird and Northumbria Police are backing a national campaign tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
CSE is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.
Today, the world is being asked to unite against the issue as part of National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day. Working under the campaign title #HelpingHands and #Thunderclap people have been asked to write a pledge on their hands and show their support for the day by posting a picture of it on social media.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird DBE QC, said: “Doing all we can to keep the most vulnerable members of our communities safe is incredibly important to me and I give my full baking to this campaign.
“There is lots of proactive work taking place to raise awareness of this issue and educate people about spotting the warning signs and I will ensure Northumbria Police continues to do all it can to tackle this completely unacceptable abuse.
“Anyone who comes forward seeking help will be listened to and given the protection they need – absolutely no child or young person should be left to suffer in silence and our officers are committed to seeking justice for victims and put offenders before the courts.”
Supt Steve Barron of the force's Safeguarding department said: "It is really important we help raise awareness about what CSE is, how to spot the signs of it and what we can do to prevent it. Northumbria Police is working tirelessly to support victims of CSE and help identify others who may be victims without realising they are.
"We all play a part in raising awareness of CSE and encourage reporting because safeguaring is everyone's business - we all need to do our bit.
"The national awareness day is an excellent opportunity for the public to show their support and help get involved. We ask anyone who sees anything suspicious or has any doubts about a relationship involving a child to say something.
"It is as simple as - if you see say something that doesn't seem right, say something. Contact police, or talk to someone about it. It may be nothing but it may also save a child becoming a victim of CSE."
"We do have a lot of proactive engagement with partners and schools to help educate young people, parents, teachers and carers. We know it is a difficult topic to approach young people with but with early intervention it can help prevent offenders taking advantage of children."
Northumbria Police works closely with the charity Bright Futures which is also taking part in the National CSE Awaresness Day.
A spokesperson from Bright Futures said: "We are carrying out a week of action which involves delivering presentations and information stalls in secondary schools and colleges to raise awareness of healthy relationships, online safety, grooming and child sexual exploitation.
"We will be carrying out detached work across the area engaging with young people in their local communities and further raising awareness. All young people we work with are writing pledges to show their support for campaign which are being shared on social media to raise awareness with other young people."
The force will also be hosting an event at SafetyWorks! in Newcastle on Saturday to support CSE Awareness Day and are encouraging people to come along between 10am and 1pm to see the fantastic facilities and learn more about spotting the signs of CSE.
For more information about the day follow @NorthumbriaPol, Facebook and Instagram/NorthumbriaPol #helpinghands, #Thunderclap #CSEDay17