Teaming up to tackle abusers

Sheffield business leaders have teamed up with police to launch a unique project that aims to help stamp out child sexual exploitation – CSE.

The Federation of Small Businesses is working with the South Yorkshire force on the scheme, which aims to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and encourage businesses to play a role in reporting concerns.

The move comes after an independent report by Professor Alexis Jay OBE found at least 1,400 children were abused by men of ‘mainly Pakistani-heritage’ over a 16-year period in Rotherham.

Small businesses across the city, who are members of the FSB, will now be given an awareness package and a code of conduct on the subject of CSE.

The package and code of conduct encourage employers to train staff to understand how to spot potential indicators of CSE, raise concerns about child sexual exploitation, protect vulnerable employees and how to put safeguards in place at work.

It will be aimed at businesses in the hospitality, retail, transport, and leisure trades.

Gordon Millward, regional chairman of the FSB, said: “CSE is a terrible crime with destructive and far reaching consequences for victims, their families, and society. It is not limited to any particular geography or background, and businesses should assume that it is happening in their area and take proactive action to prevent it.

“Recent events in South Yorkshire have shown that all areas need to be prepared to respond to this challenge robustly, and we regard it as being of paramount importance to work with the police and other agencies to do our utmost to stamp it out.”