Most hotels in Chesterfield failed police test on awareness of child sexual exploitation

Only two out of 18 hotels in Chesterfield responded correctly in a child sexual exploitation test say police.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 1:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 2:16 pm

Officers from Derbyshire Constabulary said they were “disappointed” with the results of the checks in hotels in the Chesterfield area on the warning signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

Eighteen hotels were visited during an operation in December to see if they would challenge people attempting to book rooms to carry out possible CSE offences.

But just two out of the 18 hotels followed the correct procedure and responded appropriately.

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STOCK: child abuse illustraion.

CSE is a form of child abuse in which victims are manipulated or forced into taking part in sexual activity, often in return for attention, affection, money, drugs, alcohol or accommodation. It can also involve violence, coercion and intimidation, with threats of physical harm or humiliation.

The force’s North Division Licensing Team set up the operation where plain-clothed officers and young police cadets visited the venues together and tried to book a room in the hope that reception staff would recognise the signs, refuse to rent out the room and contact the police.

Sgt. Mat Winterbottom, of the team, said: “Although the result was disappointing, we now have the opportunity to further improve education and training around what hotel staff should look out for, and hopefully give them the confidence to follow their instincts, challenge and report suspicions to the police.

“This operation was not about catching people out but to encourage awareness and help local venues to better learn how to protect and safeguard young people who may be vulnerable and at risk of child sexual exploitation.”

Derbyshire Police say future operations and checks are being planned in the area.

If you suspect a person of carrying out child sexual exploitation, or think someone you know has been a victim, or may be soon, report the concerns in any of the following ways:

Call the non-emergency, 24/7 number: 101. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use textphone service on 18001 101.

Visit a police station to speak to an officer in person.

Contact the NSPCCto speak to a professional practitioner

Contact the children's social care team at your local council.

Contact Crimestoppers online, or by calling 0800 555 111, confidentially and anonymously.

If you are a child, you could also speak to someone you trust, like a friend, a teacher or another adult.

If you’re a professional working with children, remember you have a responsibility to refer your concerns to Children’s Social Care through your local council.

If someone is in immediate danger of harm, please call 999 now. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you have pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

You can find out more about CSE online at https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/caa/child-abuse/child-sexual-exploitation/