Metropolitan Police Service Business Improvement District (BID) Officers in the London Borough of Southwark are taking part in a new child sexual exploitation training programme provided by Barnardo’s.
Nightwatch aims to safeguard children and young people from child sexual exploitation (CSE) by increasing awareness of CSE among businesses and services working in the night-time economy.
As part of the training, the officers will learn how to engage with hotels, taxi firms, fast-food restaurants and licensed premises in Southwark, so the businesses can spot the signs of exploitation and know how to intervene early and effectively when children and vulnerable adults are at risk.
PC Nick Morant, Metropolitan Police Service BID Officer at Team London Bridge who attended the Barnardo’s Nightwatch training at Better Bankside Community Space in Southwark, said:
“We know CSE is underreported, the training we deliver to hotels and businesses will ensure staff are alert to the issue and take positive action when there are signs of CSE. This could be the difference between someone coming to harm or receiving the help they need.”
Lynn Gradwell, Director for Barnardo’s in London, said:
“We are delighted to be working with the Metropolitan Police Service to provide Nightwatch training to Business Improvement District Officers in Southwark.
“The training gives invaluable advice, support and guidance on how to spot signs of sexual exploitation and will help BID officers encourage local businesses to be the eyes and ears of the local community so that children and young people can be safe after dark.”