Thames Valley Police hosted seminar to inform hotel staff about child exploitation in Aylesbury Vale
Thames Valley Police is tackling child sexual exploitation by teaching hotel staff how to spot the warning signs.
Officers from Aylesbury Vale hosted a seminar to inform hotel staff about CSE and what to do if they suspect it is happening in their premises.
Several recent cases in the UK have highlighted the need for CSE awareness training for hotel and guest-house staff.
PC Nicki Tipping from Buckingham Neighbourhood Policing Team led the training at a hotel in Ayesbury LPA.
She said: ‘Hotel and B&B staff training is just one of the ways Thames Valley Police is working with its partners to prevent, disrupt and identify CSE.
Staff working in hotels and B&Bs across Aylesbury Vale are in an excellent position to help identify offences and, most importantly, protect vulnerable people in our communities.
That’s why hotels and guest houses should ensure their staff are both trained and aware to look out for the signs of CSE.
This training is designed to give hotel staff information about the warning signs associated with CSE and offer the tools they need to be vigilant.
Among the signs staff should look for are youngsters arriving with significantly older men who are not their family member, frequent visitors to rooms and guests being secretive and asking for an isolated room.
If they have concerns staff should make eye contact and engage in conversation to enquire the reason for the guests’ stay or visit to the area.
They should be sure they complete checking-in details and note anything untoward.
Any concerns should always be reported to police.‘
The training scheme has been piloted elsewhere in the UK and has been very successful leading to many more incidents being reported and more intelligence being obtained from hotel staff.
Hotels benefit from improving links with local police and ensuring their staff are aware of the serious issue of children being sexually exploited on hotel premises.
CSE can take many forms from sex being exchanged for attention, affection, accommodation or gifts to serious organised crime and children trafficking.
PC Tipping said: ‘We would encourage the community of the Thames Valley to contact us if they have concerns about a child who may be at risk of CSE.
We would encourage victims of CSE to speak to us – we will listen. It is the courage of victims that helps us successfully bring offenders to justice.‘
Warning behaviour among children at risk of CSE can include:
- Staying out overnight.
- Going missing from home
- Skipping school
- Coming home with gifts such as money, clothes, jewellery or a mobile phone they can’t account for.
- Older boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Using drugs or alcohol.
- Lost contact with family and friends of their own age.
- Lacking self-esteem.
- Being secretive about where they go and who they see.
- Chatting to people online they have never met.
- Worryingly unsafe sexual behaviour.
Read CSE prevention advice and information for parents, young people and professionals can be found on the Thames Valley Police.
Thames Valley Police are advising anyone with information that could help the police with their enquiries to please contact the Aylesbury Neighbourhood Policing team via the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre number 101.
If you don’t want to speak to the police or give your details you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or report it online. No personal details will be taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not have to go to court.