Action day urges victims to report sexual abuse

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Police held a day of action in Dewsbury to help keep young people safe.

Police carried out visits to businesses and taxi firms and patrolled the town on horse back during the operation to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

West Yorkshire Police and Kirklees Council organised the awareness raising day last Thursday.

Social services officers spoke to young people in Crown Nest Park and other parts of the town to tell them about the help available.

Det Sgt Mark Catney said it was the first in a series of CSE events to reassure people that action was being taken to protect young people and investigate reports of abuse.

He said: “Tackling child abuse is not something that any one agency can do in isolation though which is why we work closely with local authorities and other organisations and charities to support victims, bring offenders to justice and make our communities safer.  

“We urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or historic, to report it to the police. Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kind of offences.” 

Police have also set up their Know The Signs website, which is designed to help people spot the signs of abuse and know what to do if they suspect a young person has been a victim.

The site explains possible signs of CSE, which include children being regularly missing form home or school, changes in behaviour, unexplained gifts or spending excessive amounts of time online.

To find out more log on to www.westyorkshire.police.uk/cse

People who have concerns that a child may be a victim of CSE should call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Deaf or hard of hearing people can use the text phone number 18001 101.