53 children protected from exploitation in Wiltshire last year

53 children protected from exploitation in Wiltshire last year

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 1:45pm 18th March 2020.

3 minute read

The number's have been revealed by the Council and Police on National Child Exploitation Awareness Day.

A multi-agency team in Wiltshire has been working to identify young people deemed at risk of exploitation.

In the last 12 months, they've helped the 'reduce the risks' for 53 children across the county.

They're now asking Wiltshire residents to support their work by 'considering how we think, stop and speak out' against exploitation and abuse.

Child neglect child abuse - ChildLine (NSPCC iStock) (3)
Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police are working together to identify and protect children who might be at risk

Wiltshire Councillor Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: 

"We all have a part to play in keeping our young people safe. This is a hugely important new way of working which is bringing in our schools, our shops and all our communities to look out for the signs and speak out so we keep our children and young people safe and prevent exploitation."

HOTELS CAN HELP

Wiltshire Police are due to be getting out to hotels and B&Bs across the county to teach them how to spot the signs of child exploitation.

Some of the incidents officers are dealing with can be of a sexual nature, and there's a focus on trying to protect children.

Detective Inspector Mark Kent, Wiltshire Police lead on exploitation, said: 

"Sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse. It doesn't always involve physical contact and can occur through the use of technology such as phones and the internet. 

"Sexual activity may appear consensual and children are often unable to recognise that they are being exploited. Often it starts with providing children with something appealing, whether material, such as money, food, housing or drugs and alcohol; or emotional, such as a sense of belonging and feeling wanted or loved.

"Over time however these children are controlled through threats and physical and sexual violence. Working with our partners, we are determined to highlight and tackle the signs of CSE.  The more people are aware of it, the easier it is for more people to spot the signs which will hopefully lead to more children being protected." 

Sexual Abuse and Violence
Wiltshire's authorities are asking us to 'think, stop and speak out' against exploitation

WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE CONCERNED

There's a few tips from the authorities on how we can help protect more young people:

  • If you're concerned that a child is at immediate risk of CSE, ring Wiltshire Police on 999
  • If the child is not at immediate risk, but you still have concerns and have some details about the child, such as their name or address, you can call the Wiltshire Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 456 0108
  • You can also call Wiltshire Police's non-emergency line on 101 to report their concerns about possible sexual exploitation
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