CSE Awareness Month launches 1st March 2017

CSE Awareness Month – March 2017

Today (1st March) marks the launch of a month of activity to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) within Surrey. A range of events and initiatives are planned aimed at children and their families, professionals working with children as well local businesses.

CSE is a form of child abuse and can affect children from any background including boys, children from ethnic minorities and those with learning difficulties. Last year, agencies in Surrey have supported 400 children who were either at risk of or were experiencing CSE. We have also focused our efforts to disrupt suspected perpetrators and bring known offenders to justice.

 CSE is often described as ‘hidden harm’, and it can be difficult to spot the signs of exploitation. The events taking place in March are therefore aimed at raising awareness about some of the signs of CSE with children and their parents, professionals and the general public and to promote ways in which concerns about children can be raised. This will ensure that children can be protected from exploitation.

 Elaine Coleridge-Smith (Chair, Surrey Safeguarding Children Board) said:

‘Keeping children safe from CSE is key priority for everyone in Surrey. The more that children and their parents know about the dangers of sexual exploitation the more likely they are to be able to protect themselves and their friends.

 I am therefore delighted to launch CSE Awareness month. This is the first time we have co-ordinated efforts across a range of agencies in this way enabling us to reach out to a variety of key audiences’.

A range of events and initiatives are being delivered in March with the aim of raising awareness about child sexual exploitation (CSE). These initiatives are aimed at children and their families, professional working with children as well as local businesses and include:

  • The launch of Operation Makesafe (16th March) – led by Surrey Police
  • Workforce development event on identifying signs of CSE in boys (22nd March) – led by Surrey Safeguarding Children Board
  • The launch of an improved Family Information website together with a social media campaign seeking feedback from parents on existing CSE Services – led by Family Information Services
  • Co-ordinated awareness raising activities in all council-run youth centres in Surrey – led by Youth Support Service  
  • Showing the play ‘Crashing’ in 10 schools across Surrey – funded by Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, and led by Surrey County Council Education Services/Surrey Police 
  • Showing the play ‘In the net’ across all primary schools in Surrey – funded by the Surrey Education Trust and overseen by Surrey County Council Education Services 

Each activity will be overseen and delivered by individual agencies. Importantly, this includes maintaining the responsibility for communication activities.

For further information, please contact Karl Mittelstadt, Partnership Manager (CSE) on 01372 833793.