New online campaign launched to help protect children across Essex

  Posted: 24.11.20 at 17:31 by The Editor

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A NEW online campaign has been launched to help raise awareness of child exploitation at stations and transport networks across the county.

Launched yesterday (Monday, 23 November) Operation Henderson will share information about how to safeguard vulnerable children on public transport, what signs to look out for and how to report concerns.

The campaign has been launched by the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) and is being supported by Essex Police’s Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU).

A spokesperson for the campaign said: “While many people are staying at home during the second lockdown, we know children are still using public transport to get to and from school.

“Traditionally the anonymity of a crowded station has made it harder to identify victims, while in lockdown the lack of passengers can make it easier for young people and their exploiters to move around unchecked.

“So, if you are out and about for work or caring purposes look out for signs of exploitation, particularly around transport hubs.”
Research has shown that young people vulnerable to exploitation are just as likely to be using trains, buses and taxis as they were prior to the pandemic.

Concerns about child exploitation can be reported to the Police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If there are concerns about suspicious activity at train station grounds the British Transport Police text line number 61016 can also be used.

Further information and resources can be found on the ESCB website here.

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