Local councils support #CSEDay15

Above: Colette O’Brien, director of Children’s Services, Liverpool City Council at the launch of the campaign

Merseyside Police has joined forces with professionals from health, education and local government to lend its support to National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day on Wednesday, 18 March.

On the day the force and its partners, including, Knowsley, Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton and St Helens councils, will launch, ‘Listen to My Story’, a joint media and marketing campaign designed to raise awareness of the issue among young people, parents and grandparents and members of the public.

The campaign, which has been funded by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, aims to help victims find the right kind of support and advice if they are suffering as a result of child sexual exploitation (CSE), or have suffered abuse in the past.

ACC Andy Ward has called for everyone to take a few minutes to learn more about CSE and in doing so, help keep our young people safe.

He says: “Child sexual exploitation is a terrible crime that can have a devastating impact on the young people right the way through their lives. Worryingly it can take a victim seven years to tell someone what has happened to them, either because they are ashamed, have no-one they can trust to believe them, or no-one actually asks in the first place.

“We need to do more to stop CSE in its tracks in the first place and this campaign will better equip every adult out there who puts a child’s safety and well-being first to spot the warning signs and take decisive action.”

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Ann O’Byrne says: “Through Listen To My Story we want to raise awareness among young people themselves, their parents and guardians and also the wider community.

“We all have a part to play in protecting our young people and this campaign is designed to increase everyone’s understanding of CSE, ensuring we are all alert to the warning signs and know what to do if we do fear a young person may be at risk.”

Officers from the force Public Protection Unit, along with Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward and the Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Ann O’Byrne, will join professionals from Social Services, Education and Health, in a live debate about CSE on BBC Radio Merseyside on Wednesday at 12pm.

On Friday 20 March there will be three performances of Chelsea’s Choice, a hard hitting play highlighting the issue. Entrance is free and more details can be found on Knowsley council’s website,

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