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The North East Unites to Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation

23rd October 2015

More than 500 delegates attended the North East’s first Child Sexual Exploitation Conference, hosted by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Northumbria Police and Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).

The conference formed part of Northumbria Police’s Child Sexual Exploitation Week of Action, which covered issues including human trafficking, cyber crime and the night-time economy.

The week was in support of the national ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, who opened the conference, said: “We all have an obligation to make ourselves aware of the risks of Child Sexual Exploitation and to recognise it when it may be present. Raising awareness with professionals such as the hundreds of highly qualified people who attended this conference is a key part of the job we have but we must all go out and ensure that the public also understands the risks.  It was impressive to see so many people, both speakers and attendees, coming together to explore how we can work together to tackle this issue.

“There’s some great work going on in our region and this kind of event helps to cement the key relationships which Northumbria Police needs to continue going forward. Above all we want to safeguard victims and help them to recover, with our partners but we aim also to bring them justice and put offenders before the courts.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Tim Walker, who is the Head of Crime at Northumbria Police, said: “The conference was a highlight of our week of action, which focused on raising awareness of what Child Sexual Exploitation is, how to notice the signs and how we protect those who are victims to these sorts of offences.

“Safeguarding children and young people is everyone’s business and everyone needs to look out for the signs and have the confidence to do something about it.

“It is important that victims know there are people they can talk to and trust and who will take action.

“We don’t want anyone to have to suffer in silence and we all have a responsibility to give a voice for those who can’t be heard – if you see something, say something.”

CSE Conference 4