Do you know what your children and teenagers are doing online over the holidays?
Published: 15 Dec 2017
Ahead of the Christmas holidays, Hertfordshire County Council is reminding parents to be aware of their child’s online activity as part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Earlier this year, Hertfordshire County Council debuted a new film in partnership with Hertfordshire Constabulary and the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board, based on real life crimes which have affected young people in the county.
The video tells the story of a 15 year old girl who is befriended on Facebook by someone she has never met and goes on to meet him alone. The video also tackles issues such as sexting, drugs and alcohol.
Parents, carers and anyone who works with young people can view the video as well to help get a greater understanding of the issue out in to the community.
Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Keeping children safe is the responsibility of everyone in our community. Hertfordshire County Council is working together with the police and our partners to encourage businesses, schools and community groups to prevent sexual exploitation across Hertfordshire.
“During the Christmas holidays, we ask that parents ensure they know who their children are speaking to online.
“Child sexual exploitation is happening at different levels across the UK. We must not be complacent in Hertfordshire, as child sexual exploitation can happen anywhere. Hertfordshire County Council is taking every possible step to ensure children in Hertfordshire are able to grow up in a safe environment.”
Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “Together with Hertfordshire County Council, we’re asking families with teenagers to be wary of their children’s activity online while they’re at home over Christmas.
“Exploitation is an extremely serious crime which can have a life-long impact on victims and whilst our proactive work to tackle these offences and bring offenders to justice remains on-going, I would encourage those affected or anyone with any information about CSE to please contact the police. You can have absolute confidence that our dedicated HALO team will fully investigate matters sensitively.”
If you suspect a young person is falling victim to child sexual exploitation - you can report it by calling the police on 101, contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 (to make an anonymous report), or contacting Childline on 0800 1111.
For more information visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/cse
The video is available to view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRZxFekdKeY