Last updated by Stephanie.Rosser@essex.gov.uk on Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Operation Henderson, the joint initiative to raise awareness of safeguarding vulnerable young people on public transport from exploitation, returned once again last week (Wednesday 5 April).
Outreach workers from many partner organisations were out and about on identified transport routes speaking to members of the public, young people and station workers. Leaflets were given out and many workers who were previously unaware of how to report concerns now have access to this information.
Organisations involved included Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit; Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester and Southend community safety partnerships; Essex Social Care; Thurrock Social Care; The Railway Children charity; and The Children’s Society. Staff from Chelmsford City Council also visited Chelmsford bus and rail stations.
Spotting the signs
Find out more about Operation Henderson and how to spot the signs of vulnerability and exploitation. Here you will also find details of the Spot It, Stop It scheme for businesses to sign up for awareness training about child exploitation.
The Look Closer campaign is a joint initiative with The Children’s Society and British Transport Police encouraging members of the public to learn the signs of child exploitation and understand how to report it if worried.
The campaign focuses nationally on public spaces like bus and train stations, fast food outlets, roadside services, and hotels - places where young victims of exploitation could be visible.
What to do if you have concerns
If you have concerns about child exploitation, you can report them online at www.essex.police.uk where you can also speak to an online Live Chat operator on weekdays between 10am and 9pm. Alternatively, you can ring 101.
You can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, online or by calling 0800 555 111.
If you have concerns about suspicious activity in the grounds of a train station, you can text British Transport Police (BTP) on 61016.
Always ring 999 if it is an emergency or a crime in progress.