WARWICKSHIRE has a multi-agency team to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the county and throughout this week the agency has been raising awareness about CSE across several community areas.
In the latest awareness initiative, Warwickshire Police, Barnardo’s and Warwickshire County Council works alongside the business community, including hotels, taxi companies and licensed premises.
The Something’s Not Right awareness raising campaign helps business owners and their employees identify potential victims of CSE, and where necessary alert the team to intervene prior to any young person coming to harm.
Businesses such as hotels, licensed premises and taxi companies in Warwickshire also have access to awareness-raising training to recognise the signs of CSE, which directs them to call police if they suspect suspicious behaviour or activity on their premises or in their vehicles. Our call handlers have received specialist training to identify calls relating to CSE and provide the appropriate advice and police response.
The Warwickshire Barnardo’s CSE Project Workers have so far trained:
– 1612 licensed taxi drivers across the county and training is now mandatory for all drivers
– 150 people working in licensed premises across Warwickshire including bar staff and door staff.
– Almost 200 hotel staff at their open access events and directly at the hotels themselves.
Although sexual exploitation isn’t easy to spot there are signs to look out for which could indicate it is taking place:
- Adults befriending young people and buying them food, drinks and cigarettes.
• Adults buying alcohol which you suspect is for someone under 18.
• Girls or boys with older people who appear to be behaving in an intimate way.
• An adult giving a child money or buying presents such as jewellery, clothes and phones.
• Child being taken to areas of licensed premises that are not supervised or security checked.
• A customer of the premises seen with different children.
• Same child/children being seen at the premises with different adults.
• Unusual behaviour of people travelling together, especially if there are adults with young people.
• Adults putting a young person who may be under the influence of drink and drugs into a taxi.
• Young people being picked up and taken to hotels, particularly at odd times of the day and night.
• A child being taken to a hotel by one or more adults who do not seem to be family members.