Activities are to be held across South Yorkshire today to help raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.
Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day will see police officers and representatives from the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, social care and local authorities drawing attention to the issue.
They will be talking to communities about child abuse and highlighting some of the warning signs that people should look out for.
Detective Chief Inspector Melanie Palin, from South Yorkshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: “We work continuously to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and to encourage people to seek support whether through us or one of the other support agencies. National Awareness day is an ideal opportunity to seek even wider recognition of this type of abuse.
“Child sexual exploitation is child abuse and is occurring in all of our communities. We can only stop it if people who are aware of it tell us about it.”
There will be information stands in Doncaster Interchange and Rotherham Interchange tomorrow.
In Rotherham, police officers will be part of Barnardo’s and Rotherham Council’s ‘Reach Out’ event, which will be in Effingham Street in the town centre from 2pm tomorrow.
At Barnsley Interchange on Saturday, March 19, officers and Barnardo’s representatives will host a stall between 11am and 2pm.
DCI Palin added: “We hope that people will take this opportunity to come and talk to us, to ask questions and seek advice. If they don’t feel able to do this they can visit our website which gives information about not only contacting us but also other groups who can provide support.”
For more information South Yorkshire Police’ efforts to tackle child sexual exploitation visit www.southyorks.police.uk/spotthesigns