A push to raise awareness of child exploitation is taking place in Hull and the East Riding
Hull Safeguarding Partnership, East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership and the British Transport Police are working together on the campaign.
Information events are being held on Monday 16 March, in support of National Child Exploitation Awareness day, along the routes of the Hull to Bridlington and Hull to Goole railway lines.
They will highlight issues around child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation and county lines, in which children are exploited by criminal gangs to carry drugs from urban areas to rural towns and villages or from city-to-city.
It is recognised that trains, buses and taxis are often used to transport exploited children between these locations and safeguarding campaigners are hoping to raise public awareness by encouraging people to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and know where to go to report it.
Among the signs to look out for are children and young people who may:
- be from another area so may look lost and have a distinct urban accent
- be travelling during school hours or late into the evening
- be with an older individual who appears controlling
- be a victim of physical assault or unexplained injuries
- be using trains while under the influence of substances, in an anxious state or travelling late at night unaccompanied.
- be dropped off at any location that causes concern
- have taxi fares paid by adults who do not travel in the vehicle.
Deborah Clark, Hull Safeguarding Partnership’s manager for the vulnerable, exploited, missing and trafficked team, said: “It is extremely important that local authorities and partner agencies work together within our local communities to raise awareness about the risk of exploitation and the services available to young people. We hope this event generates discussion about risks faced by vulnerable children and young people, and how everyone can be part of the efforts to safeguard.”
To report child exploitation, call Humberside Police on 101 for a non-emergency response, alert train or station staff or report information anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
If you know the name of a child or their home address, report safeguarding concerns to the Early Help and Safeguarding Hub on 01482 395500. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 999.