1. ITV Report

Young people in Plymouth join forces with police to tackle child sexual exploitation

Credit: PA

Young people in Plymouth have been working alongside police and other agencies to design a new child sexual exploitation awareness campaign.

The results of a two-year collaboration will now be rolled out across the Devon and Cornwall Area.

The poster design is the result of a two-year collaboration. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The National Citizens Service (NCS) worked with the Plymouth Safeguarding Children' Board, police, and city partners to develop the campaign for young people.

Teenagers from Plymouth provided feedback and ideas for key messages they thought would resonate with their peers including:

  • Anyone can be a victim
  • Young people can be exploited by someone their own age
  • If a young person is missing from home or school, they become more vulnerable

The campaign encourages young people to #SaySomething if they are worried about their own or other people’s relationships.

The campaign will be shared across social media too. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA

Todd Hanrahan, Programme Manager, at the National Citizens Service said: “I’m extremely proud of the work our young people have contributed."

It’s very rewarding to see youth voice being used and how influential young people can really be. CSE has been a notoriously difficult subject to talk about and tackle.

It is important to provide young people with further education about child sexual exploitation, as well as giving them the opportunity to support and guide us in identifying platforms and messages for us to use.

– Todd Hanrahan, Programme Manager NCS

More than 1200 young people had a voice in the final campaign. The new posters will be used around bus stops, fast food outlets, and cafes.

The campaign will also be shared via social media.