Campaign to tackle sexual abuse online

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“Don’t be x-ploited online” – that’s the message of a new hard-hitting campaign designed by Lancashire school pupils to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.

The new campaign is the latest phase of Lancashire Police’s ‘The More You Know, The More You See’ project to try to prevent the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

It involves a series of posters designed by youngsters in Lancashire bringing attention to the different ways abusers can target children on the internet, including through online games and social media.

Police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Our campaign, which also uses the social media hashtag #knowthesigns, started three years ago to help professionals and those who come into contact with young people to understand what grooming and child exploitation may look like.

“The latest phase of the campaign is designed to reach out to the young people themselves and understand the risks they face encouraging conversation and debate that hopefully will help prevent them and their friends from being abused.

“Both victims and groomers can come from any background – this campaign makes that clear, encouraging youngsters to question why people may be befriending them or their peers.

“As well as the message that groomers can come from any walk of life, they also aim to highlight the role of on-line gaming as an avenue which can be exploited by those looking to exploit boys too.”

Det Supt Sue Clarke from Lancashire Police public protection unit said: “I am thrilled with the enthusiasm and innovation demonstrated by the young people in further developing Lancashire’s much-recognised CSE campaign materials ‘The More You Know, The More You See’.

“These new resources will help us continue our work preventing the exploitation of children and young people in Lancashire and working with partners to bring offenders to justice.”