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Child exploitation is happening in Warwickshire. Don't ignore it.

Child exploitation is the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 and it takes many forms.

Warwickshire County Council(WCC) has released a powerful advert to raise awareness of it happening across the county with the aim to encourage young people, parents, carers, teachers, professionals and all other members of the community to learn how to spot the signs and most importantly how to report it or get support.

The video is part of the Something’s Not Right multiagency campaign which raises awareness of all forms of child exploitation in Warwickshire. The advert sees William, a teenage boy, receiving constant messages on his phone, skipping school and staying out late – just a few of the signs that someone is being exploited.

Child exploitation can manifest itself in different forms, including child abuse, sexual exploitation, county lines drug dealing, criminal exploitation, human trafficking and online grooming. It is a crime that can affect any child anywhere, anytime, regardless of their social or ethnic background or their gender.

The campaign website www.somethingsnotright.co.uk is packed full of information and resources, including the different types of exploitation, what signs to look for in a child or young person, what support is available and some powerful real-life stories from victims of exploitation. The website also places a strong emphasis on training and raising awareness in the community, offering targeted support to schools, health organisations and the night-time economy (e.g. taxi drivers and licensed premises such as hotels, pubs and clubs).

The Something’s Not Right campaign has previously appeared on billboards at Rugby train station, on buses across Warwickshire, on takeaway lids in various food outlets across the county and on numerous digital channels such as Snapchat, Instagram, Google, YouTube and digital radio. Over the summer alone the advertising achieved 1.8 million impressions (the number of times one of the adverts was seen by residents in Warwickshire) and nearly 10,000 website visits from parents and carers, young people, professionals and members of the community. The council and partners hope that this new campaign video will raise even more awareness amongst residents. The video is being promoted on Sky, targeted at Warwickshire households who have children aged 12-17 as well as on various digital channels.

Warwickshire County Councillor Jeff Morgan, portfolio holder for children and families said:

“We hope that this emotive video helps children and young people so that they know where to go to for help if they think they’re being exploited, as well as informing parents and carers so that they understand better what signs to look out for in their children.

“The aim is that the video builds on the terrific momentum that we have already received from the Something’s Not Right campaign and it reminds residents that we all have a responsibility to protect children and young people and keep them safe so that they can reach their full potential.  

“I would to urge the community to use this as an opportunity to visit the website and learn about the different types exploitation and the warning signs.

“Child exploitation is happening in Warwickshire, so if you see something that’s not right, report it.”

Watch the campaign video here:

To learn more about child exploitation and the support available, visit www.somethingsnotright.co.uk.

If you would like to raise awareness of child exploitation in Warwickshire on social media, use #WarwickshireCE.

The Something’s Not Right campaign is a partnership with Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police, Barnardo’s and the Police and Crime Commissioner to tackle child exploitation in Warwickshire.

Where to go for help and support

  • For information on how to spot the signs of child exploitation, visit www.somethingsnotright.co.uk/spot-the-signs/
  • For information and advice go to www.somethingsnotright.co.uk
  • If you are worried about a child or young person, contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 01926 414144
  • You can also make a report to Warwickshire Police via their website or by calling 101, or you can contact your local Children and Family Centre.
  • Contact Crimestoppers confidentially and anonymously on 0800 555 111.
  • Talk to trained counsellors on the 24-hour helplines run by ChildLine on 0800 11 11 and the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000
  • If someone is in immediate danger, call the police on 999

Published: 10th September 2021