DYFED-POWYS POLICE is supporting the National Awareness Day for Child Sexual Exploitation on Saturday (Mar 18), which is led by the charity National Working Group (NWG).
The aim of the day is to highlight the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation, to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.
Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Ifan Charles, Protecting Vulnerable People Department, Dyfed Powys Police, said: “It is vitally important that we gain greater knowledge and understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation in order to effectively target activity at local, regional and national level. Police officers are being actively trained to recognise the early signs that can identify children at risk. We all have a role to play in ensuring that children have a safe environment to grow up in.
In the week leading up to the day, front line staff will be visiting local groups and organisations to raise awareness.
DCI Ifan Charles added: “We recognise the importance of investing in identifying and tackling CSE and have invested additional resources into this complex area of safeguarding. We continue to work with our statutory partners and voluntary groups and recognise that the support of the public is absolutely vital to achieving better outcomes.”
School Community Police Officers across the force area will be delivering targeted age appropriate CSE sessions in schools as part of the wider All Wales School Liaison Core Programme.
Bethan James, the Dyfed-Powys Police School Liaison Coordinator, said: “It is vital that we raise awareness of CSE with our children and the staff working in our schools. Designated School Officers have been trained to deliver these sessions. They have the current, up to date knowledge and understanding in order to inform, prevent and protect our future generations.”
At the beginning of March, Dyfed-Powys Police launched a specialist team to help tackle the threat of Child Sexual Exploitation. The Police On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT), made up of Detectives, Digital Media Investigators, Forensic Examiners and analytical staff, will target offenders, in particular those operating online, who share and distribute indecent images of children.
Temporary Detective Sergeant, Mathew Davies, said: “Our team of specialist staff and officers will target those who exploit children, carrying out warrants across the whole Dyfed-Powys force area. The work of POLIT will help to speed up the investigation of offences and bring more offenders to justice. We are also working with the ‘Stop It Now’ project to provide support for family members of offenders, who have been affected by their illegal behaviour.”
Social Media will be used on the day to further raise awareness of CSE. You can look out for the hashtags on Twitter: #CSE #CSEDay16 #HelpingHands.