The NWG in partnership with The Children’s Society produced the Say something if you see Something (SSSS) Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness raising campaign. The campaign aims to engage and empower partners working in local businesses to recognise and report CSE and was launched nationally at Westminster in 2013 with guests including MPs, the Children’s Commissioner and our previous Children’s Minister. Large hotel chains were also in attendance and consequently pledged to adopt the campaign at a national level.
Our focus began with hotels in response to cases emerging nationally, which highlighted that hotels and B&B’s were unwittingly being used for the purpose of sexual exploitation, demonstrating the need to provide training to hotel staff so that they recognise the signs of CSE activity and are confident in reporting their concerns to protect children and prevent abuse taking place on their premises. We also need to ensure that businesses are trained to be aware of the legal and reputational consequences of being involved in any criminal activity.
As the NWG SSSS campaign rolls out regionally, we are already seeing a different response from the hotel trade. To date for example, in South Yorkshire alone, 71 hotels and 34 b and b’s have been trained on a ‘train the trainer’ basis so they can then cascade the training to their housekeeping, reception, night porter, bar, restaurant and other staff.
This awareness work has so far resulted in 43 incidents being reported to South Yorkshire Police under Operation Makesafe, where hotel staff have been concerned about possible CSE and/or trafficking activity at their premises. Of these 43 incidents,9have lead to further enquiries regarding safeguarding.
These statistics demonstrate that the SSSS community awareness programme is having a positive impact in South Yorkshire amongst many other areas and it is important that we continue this momentum to further cascade this message and ultimately create a zero tolerance attitude within our society, a society where young people are safe to enjoy the liberties that they are entitled to.
We identified the need to adapt the national SSSS campaign pack to assist those working in the night time economy including hospitality, leisure, retail and transport industries. The NWG provide all types of businesses with posters, leaflets, risk assessments, refusal logs, information sharing reports and training materials, to support business communities to safeguard children.
We have worked with South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Safeguarding Children’s Board to develop specific material for the taxi trade including a training programme for taxi drivers amongst other resources.
We have also worked with Oxford City Council to develop further material for the taxi trade including:
- A Driver application pack
- Operator application pack (including safeguarding content)
- Policy on the relevance of warnings, offences, cautious and convictions
- Link to Local Knowledge & Safeguarding Test (below)
http://www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decB/TaxiandPrivateHireSafeguarding.htm (Dedicated Safeguarding page)
We have also worked with the Federation of small businesses to develop specific material targeted at small businesses, including guidance for staff and manages of small businesses, training material, code of good safeguarding conduct and user guides.
The toolkit now incorporates a participation scheme. The campaign and related scheme invites businesses to join a ‘participation scheme’ for which the business receives a certificate of good practice. In order to receive the certificate, businesses have to meet specific criteria including training their staff to recognise and report signs of CSE.
We recently incorporated some resources relating to the sport, Boxing. The material was designed in partnership with The Jack Raine Foundation and enables young people to identify signs and indicators of CSE and provides information on where to seek assistance and support.
The campaign has been supported and endorsed by local and national government and we are pleased with the achievements to date but we are committed to driving this forward to ensure young people are safe.
All resources in the pack have been designed and developed to meet need and can be utilised differently and adapted locally based on unique working practices.
The pack can be downloaded free HERE