Police in Peterborough have launched a campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.
The month-long initiative involves police teaming up with Cambridge and Peterborough Local Safe Guarding Children’s Board and the national children’s charity NSPCC.
The aim is to help educate the community, young people, parents and professionals on how to spot the signs that children are being sexually exploited.
Police say child sexual exploitation affects boys and girls from all backgrounds, some children and young people may not even be aware that it is abuse believing they are in a loving, consensual relationship.
Detective Superintendent Gary Ridgway, from the public protection department, said: “We need to educate and make young people aware of this type of exploitation so that we can help them make the right decisions about relationships.
“If we talk openly about child sexual exploitation in schools, at home, with friends and with those who care for young people, we can break the stigma associated with this type of abuse.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright said: “We want parents and those who care for some of our most vulnerable children in our communities to talk to young people and make them aware of child sexual exploitation.”
Business Manager Joanne Bramwell from the Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board said: “This campaign will help children and young people across Cambridgeshire to recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation and have a better understanding of who they can approach to get help.”
Young people, parents and professionals are all being urged to visit the “spot the signs” section of the police website.
The website contains information, videos and support from a range of partner agencies.
More information can be found by visiting: www.cambs.police.uk/GetCloser/ChildSexualExploitation.