Everyone in society has a duty to protect children.
Whether you work directly with children as part of your job - teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers or you work in an industry that deals with members of the public, you have a role to play in helping to safeguard children and a responsibility to know what is expected of you.
Your employer, whether that is a school, council, health organisation or other partner agency, will have information and advice for their staff about safeguarding responsibilities, spotting the signs, reporting concerns and any opportunities for training.
Leicester Safeguarding Children Board and Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Children Board has a range of information for schools and governors and health professionals.
NHS also has a range of information for health and care professionals.
Teachers can also access resources from CEOP (Child Education and Online Protection).
We have more information for practitioners in our Child Abuse section.
Working in a business that deals daily with members of the public you may notice behaviour involving children which seems unusual.
Under the Licensing Act 2003, one of the licensing objectives is to protect children from harm. This is a fundamental principle and steps should be taken to uphold this objective and actively promote it.
Unfortunately, premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts can be misused for the grooming of young people and taxis can also be used to transport young people to and from venues where they are sexually exploited.
It is important to remember that taxi drivers can be charged with human trafficking if they intentionally arrange or facilitate the travel of a person for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
What do I do if I suspect a child is being sexually exploited?
If you have concerns about a child it is important that you don’t keep them to yourself.
- Call 101 for non-emergencies or 999 if you are concerned that a child is in immediate danger
- If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 or report online www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/.
What are the signs and the steps I should take?
Signs of CSE on your premises or in your vehicle could range from:
- Young people having older boyfriends or girlfriends
- Acting older than their age
- Being given alcohol, drugs, jewellery, money, gadgets and the use of taxis.
NWG Network’s national campaign ‘say something if you see something’ is aiming to tackle CSE in the hospitality industry. Signs that CSE is happening in your hotel could include:
- A lot of male visitors to one room
- Party in a room with lots of men, girls or boys, drugs and alcohol
- A lot of condom wrappers in the bin
- Men paying for the room using cash.
There are also steps you can take to protect young people, your staff and your business:
Age verification Make sure you and your staff know the types of age identification (ID) accepted, the signs of a purchase of alcohol or cigarettes made on behalf of a young person, and who to contact if you need advice or to report a concern.
Patrol records Ensure CCTV and patrol records are in place and regularly checked.
Incident logs Ensure incident logs are kept and include areas for recording names, descriptions, vehicle registrations, and who to contact if you need advice and support.
Supervision of a vulnerable person Make sure you have advice and who to contact if you need support on caring for a vulnerable person, or where to report a concern.
Staff training records Record the staff training which takes place within your premises and include training around these ‘protection’ steps. You can access record and log templates at www.lrsb.org.uk/cse or www.lcitylscb.org/information-for-practitioners/ safeguarding-topics/child-sexual-exploitation.
Where can I go for information?
Leicester Safeguarding Children Board and Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Children Board have information and materials for businesses such as hotels, pubs, clubs and taxi firms. You can also download training material for your staff and record and log templates.
If you own or work in a hotel you can access material from the charity NWG Network’s campaign ‘say something if you see something’. This includes signs to look out for and training material for staff.
How can I help?
Support for our CEASE campaign
CEASE (commitment to eradicate abuse and sexual exploitation) is a major multi-agency campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
We want everyone to play their part by making a commitment that such abuse and exploitation of children will not be tolerated and help spot the signs’ to prevent young people coming to harm.
Please pledge your support to help stop this this appalling crime which sees vulnerable young people deliberately targeted and preyed upon. We all have a responsibility to help tackle it.
You can show your support in the following ways:
- Sign our online pledge
- Add our CEASE twibbon to your social media profile
- Text CEASE to 87007 (texts will be charged at your standard message rate)
- Sign a CEASE hand.