Cheshire joins forces to fight sexual exploitation of children

10:00am Tuesday 28th January 2014

A CAMPAIGN to increase awareness of child sexual exploitation has been launched across Cheshire.

Called ‘The More You Know – The More You See’, the campaign aims to create debate amongst young people, professionals, parents and others responsible for caring for young people about how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.

It encompasses every agency involved in safeguarding young people across Cheshire.

Det Chf Insp Nigel Wenham, from the Strategic Public Protection Unit, said: “Ensuring young people are familiar with the signs of child sexual exploitation will help them to make positive decisions about relationships.

“It will alert them to relationships with people who may want to manipulate and control them in order to sexually exploit them.

“If child sexual exploitation can be talked about openly in the home, at school, with friends, with family and those charged with caring for young people then they will be able to trust those people around them and be able to break free by seeking the vital help they need.”

Drama workshops, internet safety sessions and healthy relationship sessions will be run as part of the campaign.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: “We now want parents and those who care for some of our most vulnerable children in our communities to play their part.

“Child sexual exploitation is a hidden crime which can go unnoticed but causes untold damage – both physical and mental – on young victims caught up in its web, leaving them scarred for life.”

Clr Mark Stocks, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s executive member for education and children, said: “One of the major problems facing child care professionals is that many incidents go unreported because victims are reluctant to come forward or are possibly unaware of the extent or implications of their abuse.

“We hope that the right early education in schools may have an effect on both these factors.”

Audrey Williamson, independent chairman of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, said: “The more informed we are, the better we can keep children and young people safe.”

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