Mark Hallas CS CEO_Sep2013_2428"In June 2009, the government published guidance on Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation. High profile cases of child sexual exploitation and trafficking seem to have done little to increase awareness and understanding of the issue.

So far, the public and the media have been focusing on previous offences carried out by people in power, such as Jimmy Savile, and there has not been a drive to generate more intelligence from those who could currently be experiencing a life as a victim of CSE.

Crimestoppers has always taken reports on CSE; however, the current public appetite is keen to expose and convict those guilty of any form of child sexual exploitation and Crimestoppers is keen to follow up on this trend.

As Crimestoppers is an independent anonymous charity, we can provide a unique service by allowing those who are perhaps closer to the victims or offenders to report what they know, without any fear of being identified.

Our Fearless brand also helps to engage young people in a manner in which they're comfortable, largely through the use of the fearless.org website. Often young people don't recognise the signs of being in a coercive relationship. Our campaigns aim to help them identify the signs of potential exploitation, and give them a means to report what is happening.

The majority of police forces are taking steps to raise awareness of CSE, and we can provide the strong call to action for those who are fearful of reporting it to the relevant authorities. In the case of young people, if they feel uncomfortable about discussing these issues with a teacher, parent or other adult, Fearless provides them with another option.

Crimestoppers is working with a number of forces to identify materials which will attract the attention of a number of different target audiences from parents, teachers, youth workers and young people themselves, to the hotel and leisure industry. It is essential the right messages are pitched to the right people to ensure full engagement and understanding across society."

Mark Hallas OBE
Chief Executive
Crimestoppers