If you think about your idea of who a typical child sex offender is, or who the child that is being exploited sexually is, what comes to mind?
Age, nationality, ethnicity, gender, social and economic background. Sexual offenders and victims of child sexual exploitation don’t fall into any one category, and we want to break the pre-conceptions you may have from TV shows or the media of a ‘typical’ suspect and victim.
We have today, Monday 18 October, launched a campaign solely focussed on helping you more easily recognise the genuine signs that a child may be being exploited.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is an area which goes heavily unreported; it’s a hidden crime. We know it happens and is sadly not an issue unique to our area, but we want to raise awareness of some of the signs you may be able to spot, whether it’s your child or someone else’s, so that we can protect more children from the hands of sexual predators using them for their own personal gain.
Protecting vulnerable people has always been our number one priority, but if we don’t know something is happening, we can’t take action to stop it.
We are actively asking for your help in reporting any activity, online or physical, which concerns you. No matter how small, nothing is wasting our time, and it will be treated seriously. We have a dedicated team who focus solely on investigating CSE reports and all come to work every day with a goal of protecting children.
You can find out more about the signs to recognise and how you can report any suspicious people or behaviour here.
Over the coming weeks, you will see our ‘What do you see?’ adverts on social media, in businesses, on billboards and more. We encourage you to share these with your friends and family, so that collectively we can tackle CSE and safeguard children from harm’s way.