Football Clubs and FA come together with Crimestoppers to tackle child criminal exploitation.

Using the reach and power of football, Liverpool FC, Everton FC, Tranmere Rovers FC, and Marine FC, Liverpool County FA, and Crimestoppers are engaging young people with a strong clear message: Enough is Enough.

Too many young people are being groomed and exploited on Merseyside by drug gangs.

On Tuesday, 26 March, at Anfield Stadium, the clubs and Liverpool County FA staged an evening for 100 youth football coaches from across Merseyside to educate them on how young people are being criminally exploited, groomed and abused, and how they can identify the signs, how to report it, or how to get help and support.

Key note speakers were former Everton player Michael Branch, who told his own powerful story and James Riley, gun crime educator. There were also inputs from Crimestoppers, Merseyside Police and Merseyside FA.

Thousands of young people across Merseyside take part in football activities each week and coaches play an important role in not only making sure that young people develop their skills and have fun, but also in making sure they are safe and are aware of the dangers that they can face and how to reach out for help and support.

David Fairclough, Crimestoppers Volunteer and Liverpool Legend, said, “It was a fantastic event. Football is a great way to engage with young people and by making our coaches aware of the dangers that are young people face today and how they can best help them we can hopefully stop our young people being criminally exploited.

“Tragically, young people often think they have no choice, but there is help and support available and young people have a simple way through Crimestoppers and Fearless.org.”

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Liverpool FA said, “4 Clubs 1 Goal is a fantastic programme and we’re so excited to be involved in it. Football not only provides physical activity for participants but it can help address and improve social and community issues and events such as this provides education and support to our grassroots coaches who are working with our young people each week.”

Tony Cosgrove from Liverpool FC Foundation who hosted the evening, said, “By working in partnership, the four clubs are able to use the power of football to take a unified approach in tackling serious youth violence across Merseyside.

“Collaborations with other key partners has also strengthened and grown The 4 Clubs 1 Goal initiative to become much more sustainable. We hope events such as this can keep the momentum going to raise awareness to safeguard and divert young people from becoming victims of child exploitation.”

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