To mark National Child Exploitation Awareness Day (Wednesday 18 March), people are being urged to learn how to spot the warning signs of young people being exploited.
The awareness day is to highlight the issues surrounding child exploitation and encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.
Wirral Council has dedicated staff within the Compass Team, who work to tackle child exploitation. The team works closely with a range of local partner agencies including police and health professionals. Part of this work involves raising awareness of the different forms of this abuse, including sexual and criminal exploitation. This includes “County Lines” where gangs use children to expand their supply of drugs from larger cities to smaller, often rural towns.
Cabinet member for Children, Families and Education, Cllr Tom Usher, said:
“We have done a lot of work in Wirral to raise awareness of exploitation of children and this event is yet another example of the effort we are putting in to ensuring this is an issue at the forefront of people’s minds.
“Exploitation can be sexual or criminal exploitation; but always involves vulnerable children or young people.
“It is vital that people know what the warning signs relating to the exploitation of children are – and what to do if they believe a child is being exploited. Exploitation can be sexual or criminal exploitation; but always involves vulnerable children or young people.”
You can find out more about the work of the Wirral Safeguarding Children Partnership at www.wirralsafeguarding.co.uk.
In an emergency, always call 999.