Braintree Community Safety Partnership – child exploitation awareness

Business owners around Braintree have been trained to spot signs of child exploitation in their restaurants, taxis and hotels.

The Spot it Stop it campaign was set up by the Braintree Community Safety Partnership to raise awareness of child exploitation in the city.

The program encourages businesses to register and receive awareness training on what signs to look out for and how to report any concerns.

Chris English, Community Safety Officer, said: “We had seen cases of child exploitation in the area so we formed a group to look at early intervention; to establish what we could do to prevent this from happening in the first place.

“This is to raise awareness and encourage business owners to report any concerns, such as a hotel owner asking why a single adult can check in with a child. Of course, these situations can be innocent, but you have to open your eyes and your mind to the fact that the young person could be exploited.

“We want to get in there and stop it before it becomes a big deal.”

Funded by the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), Community Safety Partnerships bring together councillors, police, fire, the probation service and other organizations – including Crimestoppers and Neighborhood Watch – to tackle local crime and disorder and reduce recidivism.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is our responsibility, individually and collectively, to prevent the exploitation of children in our country. We need to train people to spot the signs of exploitation. Every company and organization has an individual and collective responsibility and role in the fight against exploitation.

“So it’s great to see this work happening in Braintree. Thanks to these efforts, there will be so many eyes and ears watching for the warning signs that there will be no more place for child exploitation in the district.

This year, the Braintree partnership received £17,739 from the 2022/23 PFCC Community Safety Fund.

For the first time, the partnership changed the way it set its priorities for the coming year.

Chris said: ‘In the past we have looked at crime figures to see what they show and set our priorities around them. It was difficult for all our partners to see how they could get involved in the fight against crime. We have found that by talking with our partner agencies, we will involve more people if we work in a more positive way and focus on prevention.

“So this year, we are focusing on protecting the vulnerable, promoting healthy relationships, staying safe online, building community resilience, and promoting safety in our communities.

“It’s about involving as many partners to consider early intervention, examining gaps in supply and encouraging new ways of working and supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

“It’s great that we have all these partners who really want to get involved and come to our meetings. No agency can solve these problems.

The partnership is also funding Next Chapter to provide a Child to Parent Violence and Abuse course for families of children aged 7-18, and increased support for those at risk of losing their rental or social housing due to anti-social behaviour, drug addiction or domestic violence. .

Follow the work of the partnership at @BraintreeCSP on Twitter.

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