Hackney and NSPCC launch campaign against child exploitation
Hackney Council and the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board have joined forces with the NSPCC to help tackle child exploitation.
The organisations have launched a campaign, which encourages residents to look out for the signs that a young person is being exploited and to report their concerns. A poster and leaflet detail some of the signals that a child might be a victim of sexual exploitation or being targeted by gangs or extremists.
Anyone worried about a young person can phone the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or, if they prefer, they can email for advice: firstname.lastname@example.org. The free phone line, which can be called anonymously, is open 24 hours a day, with specialists on hand to discuss concerns.
The potential signs of exploitation highlighted in the campaign include: “I don’t know how they’re affording all these new things”, "They’re always online and have become more secretive about what they’re doing" and “They’ve been going missing overnight and skipping school – I don’t know where they go”.
The welfare of children and young people is our absolute priority, but unfortunately there are some people who seek to exploit them.
There are lots of reasons why a child or young person might start acting differently, but a change in behaviour could be a sign that they’re at risk. By working in partnership with the NSPCC, we’re opening up another way for people to get advice and report anything they’re concerned about. Together we can all play a part in keeping young people safe.
John Cameron, NSPCC Head of Helplines, said: “Young people who are being exploited can often feel that there is no way out. We speak to children at ChildLine who are often terrified of what they are doing and want to leave these dangerous situations. We believe that adults have an incredibly important role to play in helping these young people to see there is a way out and they will be supported in doing so.
“Parents, carers and other adults often struggle to know where to turn when faced with a young person who is being exploited and our anonymous, 24/7 helpline offers advice, support and information on what action they can take. By working together with the authorities in Hackney we can help stop young people’s lives from being ruined.”
For more information visit child protection.