Under the banner of Operation Henderson, a new Safeguarding campaign will be running from 29th January – 11th February, raising awareness of vulnerable young people on transport networks.
Research and local data have shown that transport networks are used by vulnerable young people who may be at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation /Child Criminal Exploitation and trafficking. Young people often gravitate towards stations because they are busy, anonymous places that also provide some form of shelter and access to food and drink. A young person may use a station or public transport as a way to try to disappear. Bus and rail networks can also be used by offenders to traffic young people for the purpose of sexual and criminal exploitation.
Children and young people who are at risk of exploitation don’t always see themselves as victims because the people taking advantage of them are manipulative. Some may also be afraid of telling anyone because they’re worried about getting into trouble. That’s why it’s so important that we can all spot the signs a young person may be vulnerable. Staff and commuters in busy train stations play an important part in this because they see hundreds of people a day. However, everyone must be vigilant - if you see something that doesn’t feel right, report it.
Further information about the campaign can be found here
including resources, videos, spotting the signs and how to get support. If anyone has concerns they can report them through British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 or Crimestoppers on 0800555111.