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Surrey Police launches campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation

Surrey Police launches campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation

A message from Surrey Police to parents and carers


Dear Parent or Carer

Sexual exploitation, grooming – these forms of abuse could be happening to a young person you know. Sadly child sexual exploitation (CSE) does happen in Surrey and blights the lives of young people across the county.

CSE is defined as the sexual abuse of someone under 18 involving exploitative situations and relationships. Sexual activity  will often take place in exchange for money, alcohol, drugs, or presents such as clothing or mobile phones.

To raise awareness of CSE and the warning signs that are often a precursor to abuse, Surrey Police have launched a       campaign aimed at young people, teachers and parents and carers. We will be sharing advice on how to identify warning signs and ways in which people can report concerns they may have about CSE.

A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person won’t recognise the controlling nature of the relationship and won’t see themselves as being taken advantage of or exploited. Victims can be groomed in person or online and are often targeted because they are already vulnerable in some other way.

Parents and Carers – what you can do to help:

Know the signs - warning signs of grooming include, but aren’t limited to: unexplained gifts, unexplained changes in behaviour or personality, changes in physical appearance such as weight loss, being absent from school, going missing, being overly familiar with friends that you don’t know about. Visit www.surrey.police.uk/cse to learn more.

Do your children use apps or social networking sites you’re not sure of? NetAware by the NSPCC and O2 is a great       resource that can teach you about what the apps do, the risks involved, as well as how you can change privacy settings, report and block users.

Please share our messages and videos on Twitter and Facebook. We will be sharing important content on warning signs, stories of CSE victims and ways in which you can report to us. 

You have an important role in recognising if someone is being sexually exploited and could help to protect that child or young person. If you suspect something, report it to Surrey Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.