Councillors pledge to stand up against Child Sexual Exploitation

West Sussex county councillors pictured in County Hall, Chichester, pledging to stand up against Child Sexual Exploitation (photo submitted). SUS-151020-152147001
West Sussex county councillors pictured in County Hall, Chichester, pledging to stand up against Child Sexual Exploitation (photo submitted). SUS-151020-152147001

West Sussex county councillors have demonstrated their support in the fight against Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

The pledge, taken during a Full Council meeting on Friday, follows a multi-agency summit in September, hosted by the county council to encourage organisations and groups to take a stand against CSE.

It is a type of abuse in which children and young people under the age of 18 are sexually exploited for money, power or status.

Louise Goldsmith, leader of WSCC, asked everyone to stand up ‘against the most repugnant thing that could happen in our county’, and added: “It’s a difficult topic to talk about but we should speak about it.”

She explained how the Standing Up Against CSE Summit, held at Parkside in Horsham, was aimed at raising the profile of CSE across West Sussex, and everyone attending the event was asked to make a partnership pledge to stand up against CSE.

Peter Evans, WSCC’s cabinet member for children – start of life, said: “Sadly this is an issue which can affect anyone from any walk of life and we simply must make sure that people are aware of the signs and know what to do if they spot them.”

He asked all councillors to take up the fight against all facets of CSE.

More information can be found on the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board website at www.westsussexscb.org.uk

To report concerns people can call the county council’s Children’s Access Point (CAP) on 01403 229900 (9am-5pm Monday–Friday) or email cap@westsussex.gcsx.gov.uk

This is a secure email system which can only be accessed by professionals.

People can contact the Police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency), and they can also call Childline on 0800 11 11 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

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