CHILDREN will shown words of comfort today as Cheshire authorities raise their hands to help put a stop to sexual exploitation.

Today, using #HelpingHands or #CSEDay2017, Cheshire Police, alongside Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Borough Council’s, will publish photographs of messages written on their hands in a powerful sign of solidarity to those who have suffered from abuse.

The campaign – part of the national Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day – highlightsd the issues surrounding CSE and encourages everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.

Det Chief Supt Nigel Wenham, head of Cheshire Police Public Protection Directorate, said: “We all have a duty to protect those who are most vulnerable within our communities.

“Every day we continue to work hard to protect children and to ensure the appropriate advice, support and safeguarding is in place for them.

“It is important to remember there is never one type of victim or offender and that child sexual exploitation can happen to anyone.

“The impact this type of crime can have on a child is absolutely devastating and can have a long lasting and significant effect on all those involved.

“CSE Awareness Day provides an opportunity for us all to focus on this very important issue.

“In particular we want to show the importance of working together to educate our children and each other about the dangers, the signs, the indicators of abuse, so that we can safeguard our children and bring to justice those who abuse.”

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner, said Cheshire authorities are ‘committed to supporting and taking a stand’ against child sexual exploitation to protect the most vulnerable children.

He said: “National awareness days are powerful ways of standing together to highlight the issues surrounding CSE and encouraging people to come forward to seek help and support.

“CSE needs to be treated as business as usual with regular assertive action taken against those who offend, and to keep our young people safe from harm.

“I think it’s vital we work together to protect children and young people and I will be ensuring this continues to be a priority for the Constabulary.”

Cllr Nicole Meardon, CWAC cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “Working together we can support and protect our young people and make a stand against those who exploit them – the more you know, the more you see.”