Pilot scheme to tackle child sexual exploitation launches in East Herts

A pilot training scheme for taxi drivers, hoteliers, pub, club and bar employees aiming to further raise awareness of the signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE) has launched in East Herts.

The scheme, called Say Something If You See Something, is a short training video specifically aimed at taxi drivers, hotel workers, the security industry and the licenced trade, as those working in these environments are likely to come across evidence of potential CSE in their jobs.

The 20-minute video, produced by Hertfordshire Constabulary in collaboration with East Herts Council, explains the definition of CSE, the signs to watch out for and how best to report any concerns the person may have.

Following the launch at Ware Priory on July 20, which was attended by approximately 45 managers from all three industries, the attendees were then asked to conduct training sessions for their employees so they know the signs to look out for. These will now be rolled out across East Herts in the coming months.

PS Clare Ramirez-Scott, from the East Herts and Broxbourne Community Safety Unit, led the launch and said: “This new training video is an effective way of informing those who work in the night time economy about CSE. I believe it is going to help bridge the gap between the police and those working in the night time economy, in turn helping to achieve our aim of protecting more vulnerable children.”

Vulnerable Children Detective Inspector Jo Briggs, from the Safeguarding Unit, said: “Those who work in the night time economy are absolutely vital in tackling child sexual exploitation. “They are essential in helping us combat CSE and those who commit it. Taxi drivers, hoteliers, pub, club and bar employees are our eyes and ears.

East Herts executive member for Environment and the Public Space Graham McAndrew, who is also a county councillor, said: “Any victim of CSE is one too many, so I hope the information in this film encourages people to report their suspicions, as this information could be the missing part of the jigsaw for the police.”

The production of the video and the launch package was funded through Councillor McAndrew’s Hertfordshire County Council’s Locality Budget Scheme, which is money allocated to pay for projects in the local community.

Commenting on the launch, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “This is a hard-hitting video with a very important message. It is important that we educate and protect the young and most vulnerable in our society from this dreadful crime.

“I commend the combined work that Hertfordshire Constabulary and East Herts Council have done on this video as a preventative measure and hope that it is viewed by as many key agencies as possible to ensure there is enough awareness in the public about CSE.”

National Pubwatch Regional Representative Steve Evans said “I was pleased to be involved with and attend the launch of this informative initiative. I will be encouraging all of my local PW schemes to show the video at meetings and for members to communicate this to their staff”

Gabriella Jandu Manager at The Stonehouse, Hertford Said “I think it’s great that the police are making hospitality more aware of the situation and giving advice and information on things to look out for so we can prevent it from happening. I am a huge supporter of this campaign and have already done training with my staff and door teams to make sure we are all aware and can do anything we can to help.

The video can be viewed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0VAT1tBJgo&feature=youtu.be