18th March 2016
Thames Valley Police and partner agencies supporting CSE Awareness Day – Milton Keynes
Thames Valley Police in Milton Keynes and its partner agencies are supporting national Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day today (18/3).
National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding CSE, encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children developing inappropriate relationships with other children.
Together with staff from partner agencies including Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes Safeguarding Children Board, Safer MK and Barnardo’s, Milton Keynes LPA officers and staff will be writing a pledge on their hands and tweeting their messages using #HelpingHands, to show support for the awareness day. The pledge can be anything, from speaking out, to educating others. It is their promise to those young people victimised by sexual exploitation.
Today there is CSE awareness training for the city’s street wardens being carried out by Barnardo’s, while Milton Keynes Safeguarding Children Board has arranged half a day of CSE awareness-raising training for professionals.
In addition, in May, hotels, B&Bs and taxi drivers from across the LPA will undergo CSE awareness training by Barnardo’s, as part of an ongoing programme of training.
Supt Gez Chiariello, LPA Commander for Milton Keynes, said: “CSE is and will remain a Force priority and Thames Valley Police is committed to tackling this type of exploitation across the Thames Valley.
“The Force continues to raise public awareness of CSE, especially among children and young people. Our activities help children to develop an understanding of how to protect themselves, and help to give them the confidence to speak to someone if something is not right.
“I will be taking the #HelpingHands pledge – I hope others will be joining me.”
Jane Held, Independent Chair of Milton Keynes Safeguarding Children Board, said: “The MK Safeguarding Children Board support the opportunity of CSE Awareness Day; to encourage all professionals and community members to ‘think, spot and speak out’ about child sexual abuse.
“We recognise the importance of collaborative partnership working to help eradicate child sexual exploitation and will continue through ‘High Support and High Challenge’ to work together and to ensure the effectiveness of the arrangements made by individual agencies to support those victimised by sexual exploitation.”
A Barnardo’s spokesman said: “We have been offering training and guidance to front-line workers within the night-time economy, empowering them to recognise the signs and dangers of child sexual exploitation, and to know the appropriate responses to any concerns.
“We can all play an important role is ensuring the safety of young people in our community and this training seeks to raise awareness of the issue and instil a confidence that you can do something to help.”
If you are worried about a child in Milton Keynes, please call the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 01908 253169/170. The MK Emergency Social work team are available evening and weekends on 01908 265545.
Thames Valley Police also supports the ‘Say Something’ helpline which is targeted at children and young people with concerns about CSE involving themselves or others.
The helpline is run by the charity Missing People, in association with the National Working Group Network, and is funded by the Department of Education. Callers will be offered advice, and where appropriate, necessary or requested, access to the police to ensure protection and safeguarding. The phone and text helpline number is 116 000.