A campaign to raise awareness of the risk of sexual exploitation to children involved in gangs is being launched today by Northamptonshire Police, to coincide with National CSE Awareness Day.
The campaign aims to raise public awareness of the early signs of gang involvement among children, and the threat of violence and sexual exploitation which gang association can pose.
Gangs typically recruit and exploit children and vulnerable young people to courier drugs and cash and once involved they are also at risk of sexual exploitation, girls being especially at risk – though that does not mean boys aren’t vulnerable too.
The signs people across Northamptonshire are being asked to look out for are as follows:
• Persistently going missing from school or home
•Unexplained acquisition of money, clothes or mobile phones
• Excessive receipt of texts or mobile phone calls
• Relationships with controlling, older people or gang association
• Leaving home or care without explanation
• Significant decline in school performance
• Significant changes in emotional wellbeing
• Physical injuries/ self-harming
• Parental concerns
Anybody who knows of a child displaying some or all of these signs is asked to report their concerns immediately to the Child Safeguarding Team on 0300 126 1000.