From today (18 March), Sussex Police is running a county-wide Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) campaign, with the support of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB).
The campaign consists of digital audio ads being played across a variety of streaming platforms and radio stations to children and young people targeting ages of 11 to 17.
Later this month, animations will also be released on Sussex Police’s Snapchat account (Sussex_Police). These will be told from the perspective of a child or young person and will highlight the potential consequences of sending nude selfies.
Over the past few months Sussex Police has developed its Snapchat following with local Brighton PCs Jan and Claire sharing snaps of their daily policing lives. They’ll be on Snapchat giving young people advice about how to stay safe online.
The digital audio advert and animations will tell the story of a child sending a nude selfie and as a result becoming the victim of blackmail and exploitation. The story was created after considerable consultation with children and young people at youth services across Sussex.
This campaign has been developed to raise awareness of the risk of sending nude selfies and to help continue to successfully disrupt, prevent and tackle CSE.
One activity where Sussex Police unite in this challenge, not just with their local partners but nationally too, is supporting National CSE Awareness Day.
On Saturday, across the UK, people are being asked to make personal pledges on how they can help raise awareness and ensure the issue of CSE is not ignored.
The day is run by the National Working Group Network (NWG). NWG run a UK network of over 10,000 practitioners who disseminate information through their own services to professionals working on the issue of CSE and trafficking within the UK. To find out more click here.
The National CSE Awareness Day highlights the issues surrounding CSE; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children as well as children developing inappropriate relationships with other children.
Gathering as much support as possible across the UK and potentially further afield means that a really powerful and strong message is shared. Together we can work to inform, educate and prevent this form of child sexual abuse within the UK.
Detective Superintendent Jason Tingley said, “The more we all know about CSE, the more likely we can spot the signs and take action. I urge everyone to get involved by writing a pledge on the palm of your hand and share it on social media with the hashtag #HelpingHands. This highlights the commitment to and support for the day, as well as the good work that police forces, councils and charities are doing to help support victims and identify perpetrators of CSE.”
Sussex PCC Katy Bourne said, “It's vital that we unite to encourage everyone to speak out against abuse so that victims know they are not alone and perpetrators understand that it will never be tolerated.
“I remain steadfast in my commitment to supporting victims and their families who are subjected to child sexual exploitation.”
To find out more about the National CSE Awareness Day click here.