Hertfordshire Constabulary supports National Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2023
Main article content
Hertfordshire Constabulary has been carrying out a week of action ahead of Saturday’s (18 March) National Child Exploitation Awareness Day #CEADay23.
The awareness day aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation, a way to show support for the campaign is to write a personal pledge on the palm of your hand, such as Communities can tackle exploitation or Say something if you see something, and post it on social media using the hashtags #HelpingHands #CEADay23 and #EndCSEin23.
This year the day’s focus is on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children exploiting and abusing their peers.
Detective Sergeant Daniel Piper, of the Constabulary’s Halo team, said: “It is important for us all to acknowledge National Child Exploitation Awareness Day and increase awareness of the issues it raises.
“Child exploitation is a challenging crime to investigate as they often don’t see themselves as victims and are vulnerable due to their age and because the offenders have groomed them into believing they are in a serious relationship. We all have a part to play in safeguarding children from harm.
“To support the ongoing work of Halo, the constabulary’s dedicated CSE team which targets and disrupts those who are sexually exploiting young people, local Safer Neighbourhood Teams and community safety units have been completing awareness training in secondary schools and pubs and bars across the county ahead of CEA Day 2023.
“We want to make sure as many people as possible are aware of the possible signs of CSE and who to contact if they have concerns for a young person.”
Signs of a child or young person being in an exploitative relationship can vary. Some examples are:
going missing from home or care
misuse of drugs or alcohol
involvement in offending
repeat sexually-transmitted infections, pregnancies or terminations
absenteeism from school
deterioration in physical appearance
evidence of online sexual bullying
evidence of vulnerability on social networking sites