Archives for 2015

West Lancashire pupils get clued up on child sexual exploitation

Officers from the Deter Team, who focus on tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE), have secured funding to help deliver educational sessions to schools across West Lancashire.

Eight schools have signed up for the ‘Respect Me Too’ workshops so far, with the first taking place this week at a high school in Skelmersdale. The one day programme is aimed at Year 7 pupils (aged 11 or 12) and will focus on how youngsters may be groomed.

The sessions will be led by Freedom Personal Safety, a social enterprise that specialises in delivering personal safety and healthy relationship workshops in schools and the wider community, and supported by police officers and teachers.

Using local cases, discussion and interactive activities the programme aims to increase awareness and explore issues surrounding CSE, enabling the children and their peers to identify vulnerabilities and prevent any existing problems from escalating.

Pupils and teachers will be signposted to the most relevant support agencies and it is hoped that the sessions will create and reinforce good links between the police and schools so that they have the confidence to spot the signs and help to tackle the issue together.

Funding of £2,600 was secured by officers through the Community Safety Funding scheme run by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

DC Liberty Wadsworth of the Deter Team, Skelmersdale Police, said: “This really is an excellent opportunity for us to work closely with schools. We’ll equip both the pupils and teachers with the information they need to know about spotting the signs of CSE and how they can refer any concerns onto us or one of the other agencies in Lancashire.

“Tackling CSE remains one of our priorities across the county and these educational sessions are just another part of our on-going commitment to protecting children, preventing child abuse, helping victims and targeting offenders, ultimately bringing them to justice.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, said: “Helping young people to be safe online is key to ensuring that they can’t be exploited or groomed through social media, gaming sites or other online platforms.

“Protecting vulnerable people is one of the key priorities of my Police and Crime Plan and I am happy to be able to support this initiative to help keep our young people safe.”

Julie Tweedale, Director of Freedom Personal Safety, added: “We believe prevention work of this kind empowers young people to make safe choices and be aware of how they can take steps to reduce risks, particularly when they are online. Working in partnership with the schools and the Deter Team means we can pool our knowledge and experience to raise awareness with young people across West Lancashire.”

Football club supports police campaign

Blackburn Rovers FC and Lancashire Football Association are supporting our campaign to tackle child sexual expolitation (CSE).

Posters with the message ‘Child Sexual Exploitation – The more you know, the more you see’ will be displayed around Blackburn Rovers stadium and will also be shown on screens ahead of fixtures in the run up to Christmas. The message will also feature in match programmes as part of Lancashire Constabulary’s long running campaign to raise awareness of CSE.

Lancashire Football Association has produced a short film to raise awareness of the signs. The one minute film, which can be viewed here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLQKOnk4Axg, features cartoon drawings and children’s voices describing how any young person can become a victim and delivers some of the warning signs that are associated with a child being sexually exploited.

It comes as part of a week of activity which will focus on staying safe online. Police officers will be visiting schools and childrens centres to speak to young people about their own safety. Local awareness raising events will also take place and in some areas there will be theatre productions in schools and at youth clubs. A special conference for young people will take place on Wednesday 11 November where pupils and students from across Lancashire will be able share ideas and talk about the issues and share ideas about staying safe on the internet.

Det Insp Tony Baxter from Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit said: “We would encourage anyone who has been, or knows someone who has been, sexually abused, groomed or exploited to come forward and contact police confident in the knowledge they will be dealt with sensitively and professionally.”

If you are worried that someone you know is being targeted, please call police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

You can follow activity throughout the week on our Twitter and Facebook pages, just look out for #knowthesigns.

Rovers players Jordan Rhodes and Danny Guthrie

 

 

Stay safe whilst online gaming

Online gaming can be great especially during the school holidays. In the majority of cases, it is a fun and safe pastime … a way for you to play against and socialise with friends.

However, as with many things you do online, there’s an element of risk. This is because of the vast number of people in the UK and abroad who are also playing, the minimal restrictions involved and the fact that they’re not face-to-face – so you can’t be sure who they are … or what their motives are.

The risks include being taken advantage of by strangers with sexual, abusive, fraudulent or other criminal motives. You can find yourself playing games with an inappropriate age rating, running up huge bills and getting ‘hooked’ to the exclusion of exercise, socialising and school work.

Get Safe Online has some fantastic advice on how to minimise the risks associated with online gaming – check out their website.

Get Safe Online

Youth Online Understanding Radicalisation Survey

Are you aged 11-25? Then have your say and let us know how terrorism and radicalisation affects you by taking part in a short, online survey conducted by the National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ.

We want young people like you to share their views and opinions, it’s your opportunity to influence change, help increase understanding, challenge misperceptions and improve our access to information.

All participants in the survey will remain anonymous and the information provided will only be used for the purposes of this research. The findings from the survey will be really important in helping to keep you safe.

Take the survey here

All surveys must be completed before 30th August 2015

Chinese help and information phone line launched

Lancashire Police has teamed up with Chinese Groups in Preston and Blackpool to launch the Chinese community help and information phone service to raise trust and confidence between the police and members of the Chinese community.

chinese volunteer group meeting

The phone service is staffed between 10am and 8pm daily (there is the facility to leave a message) by specially trained Chinese volunteers who speak Mandarin. On ringing 01772 209988 the caller will have the opportunity to speak, in their native language, to one of these volunteers who have received training in key areas of policing. They will be able to ask for help on community issues and crime in their area and will be advised and signposted on how to resolve their problem and get help.

chinese volunteers

Detective Inspector Laura Lawler said: “We are aware that very few crimes and community issues are reported to us from members of the Chinese community, we hope that this new phone service will support and encourage them to get the assistance they need, when they need it.”
The service which launches on 11 May 2015 will not replace 999 or 101.

Check out the coverage on newsbeat.

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