Blitz on child sex exploitation

POLICE are launching a five-week campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE), anti-social behaviour and traffic offences. 

The operation will begin today (Friday) and every Friday and Saturday until April 22.

West Yorkshire Police have teamed up with a number of different organisations to raise awareness about the issues surrounding CSE.

“It will encourage people to spot the signs of exploitation and speak out.  Meanwhile, high-visibility patrols with police officers and partner agencies will be in and around Dewsbury town centre aiming to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Partner agencies including representatives from mental health teams, youth workers, and sexual health and alcohol awareness advisors will be working with police to give advice and information to the public.

Recruitment officers from the army, fire service and police will also be on hand to give career advice to young people.

PC Chris Birkenshaw, of Kirklees District Police, said: “This is an important operation about educating and seeking to raise awareness about a number of issues. We hope that we are able to engage with members of the public to raise awareness and also help us gain any intelligence to help identify any vulnerable children, target offenders and prevent offences taking place.

“Tackling child abuse is not something that any one agency can do in isolation, which is why we work closely with other organisations and charities to support victims, bring offenders to justice and make our communities safer.

“Protecting children and ensuring that victims are put at the heart of everything we do is a top priority.”

A free drop-in cafe will be open in the youth centre under Dewsbury Town Hall (3.0pm-10pm  Fridays, 10am-10pm on Saturdays).

There will also be a court fines surgery in the cafe to help people with concerns about paying fines.

Dewsbury Rams player Lucas Walshaw will be at the cafe between 3pm and 5pm today (Friday) to advise young people about a new programme at the club.

PC Nicola Wiltshire, leading the anti-social element of the operation, said: “The aim of the operation is to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour within Dewsbury and make the town centre a better place.”

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