A SERIES of campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the indicators of child sexual exploitation has been lauded “welcome news” by leading child abuse solicitors.
The latest drive, known as the “See Me Hear Me” campaign, launched in Coventry this week, offers guidance as to how to spot warning signs of exploitation.
This campaign follows the launch of the “Spot the Signs” drive announced in November that similarly urged people to be alert to possible indicators of child abuse.
The push was a joint initiative by South Yorkshire Police, authorities including Rotherham Council, the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Working Group, a charity focusing on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
A third campaign, rolled out by the Leicestershire and Rutland Local Safeguarding Children Board, targeted companies, reminding them of their safeguarding responsibilities and encouraging them to note down any concerns. They received support from Leicestershire Police, Leicestershire County Council, the NHS, district and borough councils and other agencies.
David Gibbs, a senior member of the child abuse team at Jordans Solicitors, said: “Given the events that have occurred over the last year or two, with child sexual exploitation featuring prominently in the headlines and in particular, Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police being heavily criticised for their failure to protect those vulnerable individuals and investigate their complaints, this is welcome news.
“Unfortunately, society in general can be quite blind to signs of exploitation and campaigns such as these aim to make people more aware as to what may be happening right in front of them and what to do if they have suspicions.
“Jordans fully support and endorse campaigns like these and will do all that we can to raise awareness of the signs of child sexual exploitation and to try and eradicate this evil from our society.”