18 March 2016
Bedfordshire Crimestoppers is supporting the National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day today (March 18) by encouraging more people to speak up about the crime.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of abuse where the victim is groomed with gifts or incentives in exchange for sexual activity.
Vulnerable young people are targeted by offenders, who use their power over the child in order to abuse them.
All children can be vulnerable to abuse
This can happen to any child, anywhere, anytime, regardless of their social or ethnic background.
Now Bedfordshire Crimestoppers is working alongside partners, including the police, the University of Bedfordshire, local authorities and safeguarding boards to help raise awareness of the signs, where to go for help and who to report to.
From today, the message will be carried on social media advertising and through website www.bedfordshireagainstcse.org.
“CSE is not a major issue in Bedfordshire but it is important that this issue is addressed across the UK.
“Some people, for whatever reason, don’t feel comfortable speaking to the police about child sexual exploitation. It may be that they have information on someone close to them but they fear the repercussions or it could be that they don’t want to give a witness statement or go to court.
“But they may have vital information about CSE that could help victims and prevent further young people becoming victims, it’s essential that they feel they can pass that on to someone.
“Crimestoppers takes the fear out of giving information on crime. We are not the police, we don’t take your personal details and we can’t trace the information you give by phone or online. You won’t have to give a witness statement to the police and you will not be asked to attend court.”
- Antonia Litten, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestoppers
Speak to Crimestoppers anonymously
If you have any information on those committing CSE, you contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the Anonymous Online Form