Police, county council and health services, together with the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Board, unveiled a ‘CSE Promise’ at Banbury’s North Oxfordshire Academy ahead of a National Awareness Day on the issue.
The Promise sets out the commitment of local organisations to tackling CSE and the response children should expect from professionals if they think they may have been abused or know someone at risk of sexual exploitation.
The commitment will be made to schools across Oxfordshire alongside the hard-hitting stage production Chelsea’s Choice – a play which is now touring the county for a third year to raise awareness of CSE.
Oxfordshire County Council Leader Ian Hudspeth said: “As the recent Serious Case Review into child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire has shown, we got things badly wrong in the past, so we want to speak directly to children and reassure them that child protection agencies in Oxfordshire are looking out for them and will leave no stone unturned to tackle this despicable crime.
“I hope that through this formal gesture, we are able to continue to raise awareness of the dangers of CSE as well as sending a strong message to children that we are looking, listening and ready to take action.”
Chief Inspector Julian Collinson of Thames Valley Police said: “It is really important that the police and our partners speak directly to children about this insidious criminality. To any child who might be at risk of sexual exploitation, we want to say outright that we will support you, listen to you and prosecute those seeking to do you harm.”