Say something if you see something

'Say something if you see something' campaign

The North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board (NYSCB) is looking to raise awareness with local businesses of the dangers of child sexual exploitation and the trafficking of children & young people, and let them know what they should do if they identify concerns.

Child Sexual Exploitation (also known as CSE) is the sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 and can involve exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.  CSE is not limited to a particular geographical.  Addressing CSE and trafficking of children requires not only statutory agencies but everyone, including local businesses.

The North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board is looking to help local businesses be aware of the dangers of CSE and report any concerns.  Local businesses such as pubs, clubs, bars, hotels, restaurants, holiday homes, taxi companies, off-licenses and other businesses as these are places where people routinely go for a number of reasons. They may go to a shop as customers, they may work or volunteer for a business, or they may be at a business to socialise and enjoy themselves.

Some businesses may provide an ideal environment for the grooming and sexual exploitation of children and young people. As part of the grooming process adults may meet young people or take them to places to develop a relationship of trust and make them feel special by giving them ‘treats’ such as meals or alcohol, or by involving them in adult parties. A business could be misused for this kind of activity by the people who are socialising or working there, for example:

  • Adult venues (such as night clubs/sexual entertainment venues) or small shops may attract groomers if the premise is frequented by children or young people.
  • Where underage drinking takes place, children and young people are at risk as their judgement is impaired.
  • Premises providing goods or services that can be offered to children as gifts in exchange for sexual favours (for example, free food, drinks or cigarettes; free transport; free access to a venue in exchange for sexual favours) present risk if a groomer is employed there (or works voluntarily) and has regular or private contact with children.
  • Children and young people are vulnerable in areas of premises that are not supervised or security checked (for example toilets, beer gardens, play zones).
  • Risk may be present at premises where information technology equipment is used (for example, internet access, and mobile phones) as social media can be used to groom vulnerable young people; cameras may be used to record or distribute indecent images of children.
  • Premises providing facilities for private parties, private dancing/entertainment booths or overnight accommodation, may be vulnerable to the risk of child sexual exploitation.

In addition to having a serious impact on the welfare and safety of children, sexual exploitation is a crime and if it happens at, or is associated with business it may cause serious financial and reputational damage.  Also, the Statutory Guidance for safeguarding children entitled Working Together (2015) states that “safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility”.

What can your business do to reduce the risk of CSE?

Depending on the nature of your business there may be many things which you can do to help reduce CSE including:

  • Nominate a Safeguarding Representative for your premises
  • Have all staff sign up to the code/principles (see the NWG website for more information at http://www.nwgnetwork.org/resourcefilepublic.php?id=1241&file=3)
  • Provide awareness training to your staff (see http://www.nwgnetwork.org/resources/resourcespublic?cat=74 for more information)
  • Use the campaign material within your premises (see below and http://www.nwgnetwork.org/resources/resourcespublic?cat=74 for more information)
  • Operate the Challenge 25 scheme at the point of serving or delivery, only accept photo ID (passport, driving licence or PASS logo) include this in your staff training to focus attention on younger looking customers and the activities they are involved in
  • Encourage staff to make eye contact and if appropriate, to engage in conversation to inquire about the reason for the customer’s visit or stay
  • Assign a responsible member of staff to act as a single point of contact
  • Undertake a Children and Young People’s risk assessment (do this in writing, the outcome should inform staff training, briefings and the premises operating policy)
  • If you provide accomodation, monitor customer activity using foot patrols (e.g. floor walking in pubs/clubs; glass collecting or table waiting in restaurants can be used to ‘patrol’; do regular room checks; walk hallways and the building perimeter)
  • Make use of regular CCTV monitoring
  • If you provide accomodation, restrict unregistered persons in guest rooms or private areas between 11pm and 7am and require customers to use the main entrance to the premises
  • Make sure ALL STAFF receive training so that they know what the signs of CSE might be at your premises and understand what procedure to follow if a safeguarding issue arises.  Keep staff training records signed and dated and include a description of the content of the training along with the details of the trainer and trainee.  Have a checklist of what staff need to know.  Keep up-to-date records for individual employees and have regular refresher sessions.  Training should include: Age verification; CSE awareness; Premises monitoring, clear protocols.  You can access the NYSCB's free e-learning for safeguarding children basic awareness and CSE, for more information see below.

You can also show support our campaign by displaying posters in staff and public areas.  North Yorkshire branded versions of the 'say something if you see something' campaign are available below:

What to do if you or a member of your staff have a concern? - Say something if you see something

If you have a concern and think a child or young person is being sexual exploited or trafficked you should report your concerns. 

Where a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm you should call the Police for immediate assistance on 999.  Alternatively, if your concerns are not an emergency but you are worried a crime has been or may be committed, you should seek police assistance by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

If you feel a child is in some way at risk you can also contact North Yorkshire County Council Customer Service Centre on 01609 780780 for further advice or submit a referral form.  For more information see www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/worried-about-child.

For more information on the 'say something if you see something' campaign and available training:

Say something if you see something

For more information and resources about the 'Say Something if you See Something' campaign including access to door hangers, training presentations, posters and other information to give to staff, you can also visit the National Working Group Network website at:

Free e-learning in child protection and child sexual exploitation

For access to the NYSCB's free e-learning basic child safeguarding awareness course and the NYSCB in association with Barnardo's free e-learning to increase awareness of CSE, please visit:

Further Information

You can also follow the Board on Twitter @NYSCB (https://twitter.com/NYSCB)

For more information, you can also visit:

Worried about a child?

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