Sheffield students help in fight against child sexual exploitation

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University students in Sheffield have received awards for helping in the fight against child sexual exploitation.

The students, who studied International Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management in Sheffield, received training as part of South Yorkshire Police’s ‘Operation Makesafe’ programme, which teaches firms and frontline workers, including hotel staff and bus drivers, how to identify possible victims.

It raises awareness of the warning signs of child sexual exploitation, how to spot potential perpetrators and how to report suspicions to the police.

The hope is that the graduates will take what they learned in their training into the industries they move into when they embark on their careers.

Some students also helped translate Operation Makeshift material into a number of different languages to help spread the word about child sexual exploitation.

Sergeant Katherine Wallis, who leads Operation Makesafe for South Yorkshire Police, said: “It was a pleasure to take part in this ceremony and present the students with awards for their hard work.

“It is reassuring that our younger professionals are investing the time to take part in child sexual exploitation awareness training and hopefully these skills will serve them well as they progress in their professional careers in the hospitality or business industry.

“A number of students also helped us translate existing Operation Makesafe materials into a number of different languages, meaning we can now offer this training to a higher number of people and increase awareness even further.”