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City of London Police highlights the growing risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE)

This week (Monday, 30 October to Friday, 3 November 2017), the City of London Police supports a national week of action to raise awareness of the dangers of child sexual exploitation.


Everyone shares the responsibility to safeguard and protect children – and the City of London Police is calling on everyone to join the fight against child sexual exploitation (CSE) in all its forms. We  take all reports of suspicious activity with children seriously and encourage reports from all aspects of the community.


What is child sexual exploitation?


Sexual Exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves situations and relationships where young people receive ‘something’ such as food, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money, as a result of them performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities. 


CSE can also occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition, such as being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet without immediate payment and gain – also known as grooming.


National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week of Action


Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase nationally in the policing response to an ever-growing range of CSE offending. However, the continuing expansion of online platforms which are increasingly encrypted, has enabled offenders to exploit increased opportunities.


The National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness week of action aims to highlight the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.


What are we doing about it - Operation Makesafe


The City of London Police has joined forces with our neighbouring Metropolitan Police boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney in order to inform, educate and prevent this form of child sexual abuse to businesses in our local areas.


Launched more than two years ago, ‘Operation Makesafe’, highlights the responsibilities of the community to report any concerns of CSE. Operation Makesafe raised awareness within the hospitality, transport and licensed premises trades around the possible warning signs to look out for when coming into contact with young people they believe may be at risk of sexual exploitation.


Within the Square Mile this week, we will be offering advice and useful information to members of the public and the local community, via our social media channels, on signs to look out for, and how to respond if they suspect a child is at risk.


Additionally, if any organisation within the COL is interested in receiving training, please contact the Public Protection Unit


Detective Inspector Anna Rice of the City of London Police Public Protection Unit said:


"We all have a role to play in keeping children and young people safe from sexual exploitation. We work throughout the year with businesses and communities in the Square Mile to raise awareness of this terrible crime and hope that by working together we can identify, protect and safeguard those who may be at risk.


“Every police force in the UK, as well as the National Crime Agency (NCA), take this crime extremely seriously and we are committed to bring offenders to justice.


“We’re lucky in the City that offences of this nature are very rare but our message is clear - together, we can create a better future for so many vulnerable children and young adults.”


If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation, or you have seen any suspicious behaviour as detailed above, report it by calling 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency or if a crime is ongoing always dial 999.


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