Child Sexual Exploitation
The PSNI has been working with our statutory and voluntary partners this week to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
Board members, including PSNI, local Health Trusts, NSPCC and Barnardo’s, have been running a week of social media activity to highlight the threat faced by children in Northern Ireland and raise awareness of the possible signs of child sexual exploitation.
Over the course of the week, the agencies have been posting a variety of messages, videos, clips and images, including messages from some victims of child sexual exploitation, on their social media platforms, using the hashtag #CSEAwarenessNI
Today, PSNI is leading on the social media activity and will be posting on our social media platforms on a regular basis. We are also launching a new graphic which will help raise awareness of the possible signs of CSE.
Detective Superintendent Deirdre Bones, from the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, said: “Child Sexual Exploitation is something that everyone needs to be aware of. It is not a specific criminal offence in itself however it does encompass a range of sexual offences and other forms of serious criminal misconduct.
“Our efforts are very focused on disrupting and prosecuting offenders and protecting those young people at risk of exploitation. This is a very complex issue. Often victims do not recognise that they are being exploited and often confuse exploitation for affection. This is why it is vital that we all know the signs to look out for so that those who are exploited get the help they need and those who are exploiting them can be held to account.
“We all have our part to play in protecting victims of Child Sexual Exploitation. Please follow our social media campaign #CSEAwarenessNI and help us to protect our young people.”
If you or another young person you know is in immediate danger from Child Sexual Exploitation please ring the Police on 999 or 101 in a non-emergency. You can also ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
If you have any child protection or child safeguarding concerns, please ring your local Health Trust Gateway team;
Belfast HSC Trust: 028 9050 7000
South Eastern HSC Trust: 0300 1000 300
Northern HSC Trust: 0300 1234 333
Southern HSC Trust: 0800 7837 745
Western HSC Trust: 028 7131 4090
If you have specific concerns about child sexual exploitation or want further information about this issue, you can contact the NSPCC’s 24 hour confidential advice and support helpline on 0800 389 1701.
Barnardo’s has a specialist child sexual exploitation service based in Northern Ireland that you can also contact:
Barnardo’s NI, Safe Choices T: 028 9065 8511
Childline: 0800 1111
Lifeline: 0808 800 8000
Further information and advice is available on the links below: