Police forces and organisations across the country are calling on the public to come together and fight against sexual abuse that involves the manipulation, coercion and often criminalisation of young people under the age of 18.
The national day aims to highlight the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation and encourage everyone to think about, spot the signs of and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said:
“We all have a part to play preventing this type of crime from happening.
“Whether you witness it, hear about it or experience it, you can do something about it.
“We’re here to listen, to protect and to act.”
The day is run by the NWG network, a child sexual exploitation (CSE) network offering strategic and operational support across voluntary/statutory agencies tackling child exploitation, particularly sexual exploitation with links across Europe, South East Asia, Africa, Canada and USA. Spanning more than 230 UK organisations, the network has helped over 50,000 children in the UK who have needed protection from abuse.
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman continued:
“Sexual exploitation can also be used as a method by organised crime groups, also known as county lines gangs, where young people are often coerced into committing crimes as payment for favours, gifts and other services.
“If you're concerned about a change the in behaviour or habit of a young persons, and think they may be getting abused, please come and talk to us.
“Be the hand that helps a young person, not the hand that harms.”
In an emergency always dial 999, for all non-emergency reports you can message us on social media, visit our website or dial 101.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Jeff Cuthbert said:
"Protecting the most vulnerable from harm is a top priority for us in Gwent and it's only through strong collaborative working with our partners can we seek to provide the best possible quality of service for some of our most vulnerable citizens.
“Sexual exploitation is a danger to all children and that is why preventing crimes of this nature and protecting our children from serious harm is such an important focus of my police and crime plan for Gwent. You can rest assured that all reports relating to child sexual exploitation will be taken seriously by Gwent Police and will be thoroughly investigated.
“As Commissioner, I will continue to support the force in utilising and investing in the latest technology so it can pursue and arrest those who prey on our children online with the aim of bringing those who exploit them to justice."