Wirral is supporting a national awareness day to highlight the issue of child exploitation, with local events taking place to help share information with communities.
The National Child Exploitation Awareness Raising Day takes place on 18 March, championed across the country by national charity the NWG Network.
The awareness-raising day aims to highlight the issues surrounding child exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse – and adopt a zero-tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.
Chair of Wirral Council’s Children, Young People & Education Committee, Cllr Wendy Clements, said, “We have done much work with our partners, children, schools and communities in recent years to tackle sexual exploitation, however we must remain vigilant. Preventing any form of exploitation and protecting our vulnerable young people remain key priorities for us in Wirral.
“I would urge people to take a few moments to find out more about how to spot the signs of child exploitation; how to share these concerns with someone, and how to get advice on what support is available.”
This year in Wirral there will be a community information and engagement pop up site at Sports Traiders shop in Birkenhead’s Pyramids Shopping Centre. This will be on Friday 18 March, from midday.
Local charity Catch 22 will be leading this event, along with partners from the Police and Children’s Services, to allow people to find out more about the issue.
Visit https://stop-ce.org/ to find out more about the National Awareness Raising Day and putting a stop to CE.
Child Exploitation includes Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation. The criminal exploitation of children is an issue which is gaining more recent national focus – and primarily relates to County lines. County lines can involve the use of vulnerable young people to transport or supply drugs.
You can support the day by posting key safeguarding messages on your own social media platforms and by following, retweeting and reposting key messages on the day itself. The council’s corporate social media accounts are:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WirralCouncil @WirralCouncil
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/wirralcouncil @wirralcouncil
- Instagram: @wirralcouncil
Use the hashtag #ceaday22 on your posts.
How to report concerns?
If you suspect a child or young person is at risk of harm, abuse or neglect please report it to the Wirral Children’s Services Integrated Front Door.
0151 606 2008 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.
0151 677 6557 – At other times.
In an emergency, where a child is at immediate risk, consider 999.
How to provide information that might help?
Crimestoppers can be used to report intelligence which will support action to combat exploitation, such as information about suspected perpetrators.
The Crimestoppers number is 0800 555 111 or alternatively use the website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/ to report online.
The following websites provide local sources of information and signposting to services and advice.