17 March 2017


National CSE Awareness Day 2017

Bedfordshire Police is urging people to unite together in the fight against child sexual exploitation (CSE).

Saturday 18 March is National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day which aims to raise awareness of the signs of CSE and encourage people to speak out if they suspect something.

The police work in partnership with organisations across the county in order to highlight and tackling this important issue.

This CSE Awareness Day, police are pledging to:


  • Believe, listen to and support all victims
  • Take a zero tolerance approach against CSE
  • Bring those responsible for abusing children to justice
  • Raise awareness of the signs of CSE and how to report it
  • Educate children on how they can keep themselves safe

Detective Superintendent Nick Bellingham, head of the Bedfordshire Police public protection unit, said: “Tackling child sexual exploitation is an absolutely crucial priority for us and we’re committed to working alongside our partners to bring those responsible to justice while providing support for victims.

“It’s really important that everyone knows the signs to look out for, as it can happen to any child regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, background, or age.”

Signs that a child is being sexually exploited include behavioural changes, alcohol and/or drug misuse, self-harm, being absent from school, going missing regularly, acting secretively, and receiving unexplained gifts or money – to name just a few.

Det. Supt. Bellingham continued: “If you do have any suspicions whatsoever about CSE then it’s vital that you say something. There are a number of organisations that you can report your concern to who can also provide further advice; and by speaking out you could be helping to protect more children from suffering this terrible abuse.”

Police are encouraging people to visit the Bedfordshire Against CSE website which has advice for both parents and young people, as well as information on where to go for help and support.

If you have concerns that someone you know is being sexually exploited, please contact police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.