13th March 2020
A message from Lesley Hagger, Executive Director of Children’s Services
National Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2020
On Wednesday 18 March we are joining in with the national campaign to encourage the world to unite against child exploitation.
You might think that we don’t have to worry about this in Sandwell – but sadly we do. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) has been highlighted for a number of years now, but children are also the victims of modern day slavery, are groomed into county lines drug trafficking and are coerced and manipulated into many exploitative situations. Child criminal exploitation has been called ‘one of the greatest threats of our time’ by police chiefs.
Sandwell Council wants to disrupt child exploitation and to protect the children that are vulnerable to it. So, the Council is encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.
We are updating our safeguarding training so that all staff are well-prepared to be able to spot the signs of child exploitation and understand what they are required to do to report concerns and protect children, whether they live in Sandwell, or elsewhere. Please look out for the new training and make sure that you can attend a session so that we can truly aspire to eradicate child exploitation.
If you are worried that someone you know is a victim of exploitation you can:
- call the police on 101
- call or text ‘stop CSE’ on 116000 or visit the stop cse website
- talk in confidence to Childline on 0800 555 111
- call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111 or visit the Crimestoppers website
- call NSPCC advice and support – 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website
IN AN EMERGENCY CALL 999