Local authority workers, police, fire and NHS staff are all lending their ‘helping hands’ to the campaign on March 18.
Employees are writing messages of support and calls to action on their hands and taking photos of them – making a powerful statement that child sexual exploitation will not be tolerated in our communities.
And we want you to join us in uniting your helping hands with ours to show, here in Cheshire, we are united in our stand against CSE.
The Pan-Cheshire Child Sexual Exploitation joint agency group is chaired by David Parr. He said: “Public agencies across Cheshire have, for some time, been working together to make sure staff who have contact with young people who may be being exploited have the skills and expertise to recognise the tell-tale signs of this, often, hidden crime.
“By sharing your helping hands, you can help us to ensure that our communities are equipped with the knowledge and awareness to inform the police and other agencies of any suspicious activity.”
Key to tackling CSE is being aware of the signs and knowing how to work with, and gain the trust of those vulnerable to this type of crime, to be able safeguard them.
On March the 18 we want the public to join us to show their support for the work our frontline staff do by pledging their helping hands as part of a Cheshire-wide ‘thunderclap’. A thunderclap is a tool used on social media sites to simultaneously post a message from hundreds of accounts. By doing this, we can ensure our united message is shared as far and wide as possible.
We are asking for everyone to and write a personal pledge on their hands to show support and post their photo on social media with the hashtag #HelpingHands to help us raise awareness of CSE. You can be part of the thunderclap by signing up at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/38671-national-cse-awareness-day or by clicking on the links on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “Social media is a powerful tool and we want to send a powerful message on March the 18th to young people across Cheshire that there are helping hands waiting for you if you are a victim of CSE in Cheshire.
“Working together with our partners across Cheshire, we’re here where you need us, when you need us by ensuring that those preying on their vulnerable victims are brought to justice, and that victims of this abhorrent crime are given the support they need.”
If you suspect someone is carrying out CSE, that someone is being exploited, or that you have been a victim yourself, please report it to any of the authorities or the police on 101. In an emergency, dial 999.