Thames Valley Police has supported training for hotels in the awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Milton Keynes.
Charity Barnardo’s, which provides specialist support to children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation and internal trafficking, provided the training on Wednesday at Windmill Hill Golf Centre, Bletchley.
It aimed to highlight the issues surrounding CSE, encouraging staff to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children developing inappropriate relationships with other children.
At Wednesday’s event, there was also an opportunity to sign up to Hotel Watch, which was set up to allow the passing of information between accommodation businesses and Thames Valley Police.
“By working in partnership, we can ensure that every opportunity is taken to identify early signs of exploitation within the young people in our communities,” said Det Ch Insp Vince Grey, Milton Keynes Crime Manager.
“By identifying issues we will be able to offer support and guidance. It is a collective responsibility to work together and, by undertaking such training, we can make working relationships stronger going forward.”
Jane Held, Independent chair of MK Safeguarding Children’s Board (MKSCB), said: “Hotels are often the front line in spotting and tackling CSE. To do this well they all need support to change how they work.
“Training is an essential part of informing and changing practice. I am delighted that the training is taking place through partnership working between Barnardo’s and Thames Valley Police.
“MKSCB would encourage all Milton Keynes hotels who have not signed up to this opportunity to do so, to ensure they are equipped to help protect and promote the welfare of children and young people in Milton Keynes.”
If you are worried about a child in Milton Keynes, call the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 01908 253169/170. The MK Emergency Social work team are available evening and weekends on 01908 265545.