What is Operation Makesafe?
Operation Makesafe is a national project, looking to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation within the Hotel and Leisure industry. The initiative focuses on making sure that people working within these sectors are aware of the early warning signs of child sexual exploitation and then can report concerns to the police.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.
The purpose of Operation Makesafe is to empower businesses and organisations across Northern Ireland to tackle exploitation through increased awareness and training by being able to identify potential victims of child sexual exploitation, and where necessary, alert police officers to intervene to safeguard any at risk children.
What does this involve?
Hotels, taxis and private hire vehicles, bars, clubs and restaurants in Northern Ireland will be introduced to Operation Makesafe, focusing on recognition on the signs of sexual exploitation and education. Encouraging information sharing where they have been directed to call 101, quoting ‘Operation Makesafe’, should they suspect suspicious behaviour or activity on their premises.
These businesses are also being provided with resources such as campaign posters and a guidance booklet to raise awareness amongst their staff and customers which are downloadable below.
If you’re concerned about someone’s welfare and think they may be being exploited, please report it to Police online or call 101.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via the Crimestoppers website.
In an emergency always call 999.
For advice and further information
More information and advice on Child Sexual Exploitation can be found at: https://www.psni.police.uk/advice_information/child-sexual-exploitation/