Tameside teams up to tackle child sexual exploitation
Monday 26th June 2017 @ 15:59 by Adam Higgins
News Tameside

Sports clubs and coaches across Tameside have teamed up with authorities to take a stand against child sexual exploitation (CSE).

Events, training and awareness raising took place across the borough last week as Tameside Council, the police and health officials teamed up as part of a multi-agency Greater Manchester ‘It’s Not Okay in Sport’ week of action last week.

It was designed to help ensure everyone who works and volunteers with children in sport know how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation and how to report it and get help.

Sports clubs also signed up to an ‘It’s Not Okay’ charter to reinforce their commitment to tackling and preventing CSE from happening on their watch.

Child sexual exploitation, a form is child abuse, is where abusers manipulate their victims into taking part in sexual activity in different ways – including grooming their victims with attention or gifts, or by using coercive, controlling behaviour, and sometimes force.

In Tameside, sports clubs, coaches, volunteers and parents joined forces at a children’s safeguarding event at Curzon Ashton Football Club last Wednesday.

The It’s Not Okay Tameside team also took part in the Tour of Tameside running event as well as visiting schools, clubs, Active Tameside centres and sports festivals to spread safety messages.

Cllr Peter Robinson, Tameside Council Executive Member for Children & Families, said: “So many children and young people and their families are regularly involved in sport in Tameside so this is a fantastic opportunity to reach them with safety messages while also working with the sporting community to ensure they know how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation and how to report it and support children.”

Detective Superintendent Joanne Rawlinson, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “Greater Manchester is a fantastic place for sport and we want to celebrate this while ensuring it is a safe space for children and young people.

“Allegations of historical child sex abuse within sport has recently been highlighted nationally and it is important that people feel able to come forward regardless of whether the abuse happened 10 years ago or 10 days ago.

“Children and young people may choose to confide in their coach and it is vital that staff know how to respond to a child who may turn to them for help.”

To report child sexual exploitation, call police on 101 or 999 if a child is in immediate danger. Alternatively, visit www.itsnotokay.co.uk to find contact details for local ‘It’s Not Okay’ team.


Main picture:

On your bike: DS Dan Appleby from Not Okay Tameside Team with young people at Tameside Cycling Circuit