Keeping Hertfordshire children and young people safe from sexual abuse

Published: 13 Mar 2019


Ahead of National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day on Monday 18 March, Hertfordshire County Council is encouraging parents, schools and local businesses and community groups to start the conversation and #saysomething.

Secondary schools and colleges across Hertfordshire are being asked to get involved and make use of free resources including a lesson plan and a video created to help students understand how to spot the signs of exploitation and where they can go to get help.

Residents can show their support throughout the week leading up to and following CSE Awareness Day and help to raise awareness by sharing a pledge on social media to stand against this terrible crime using #CSEDay19 and #SaySomething

Teresa Heritage, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “Whilst child sexual exploitation is not currently a widespread issue in Hertfordshire, we want to keep it that way. Our aim is to raise awareness of this terrible crime and prevent children and young people in the county from becoming victims.

“It’s important that professionals and parents help to educate our young people so they understand what this type of abuse might look like and know how and where to get help.”

Vulnerable Children Detective Inspector Andrea Dalton said: “The safeguarding of vulnerable children is absolutely paramount in everything we are doing to tackle child sexual exploitation as a Constabulary. CSE can happen to any child, anywhere and at any time no matter what their age, ethnicity or gender. Young people need to know that they do have a choice.

“Strong partnership working is vital in order for us to continue reaching more and more children who are risk, and get them the help and support they need to turn their backs on those who manipulate them for their own gain.

“If you suspect that you, or someone you know, is being sexually exploited then there are steps you can take.

“We know that sometimes reporting directly to police can be daunting, but we have specially-trained officers who are here to help you.

“If you don’t feel able to speak to us, you can visit www.nwgnetwork.org/for-young-people for help and support.”

For more information about CSE and what to look out for visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/cse.

If you suspect a young person is falling victim to child sexual exploitation please report it; you can call the Police on 101, speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or get in touch with Children’s Services on 0300 123 2043.

For more information on YC Hertfordshire and the programmes and workshops they run to educate young people healthy sexual relationships visit www.ychertfordshire.org

ENDS