More than 21,000 people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have signed a pledge to help protect children from being sexually exploited and abused.
They have signed up to the CEASE campaign – the Commitment to Eradicate Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of children and young people – being run by Leicestershire Police.
The campaign was launched in February this year as a part of a major initiative by the Force to help protect children.
Centrepiece of the campaign is the film Kayleigh’s Love Story which tells how 15-year-old Measham schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood was groomed on line and sexually abused by an older man before his next door then raped and murdered her.
Since the campaign launch, a total of 21,410 people have signed a pledge to look out for the signs that a child or young person may be in danger of being abused or exploited.
Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said he was delighted the campaign was helping to raise greater public awareness of the dangers of abuse and exploitation.
He said: “CSE is a major threat to our society, and the advent of social media provides a way in which men, and women, can make contact with young, vulnerable people and begin the process of grooming them.
“What happened to Kayleigh was extreme, in both the speed with which she was groomed and in the terrible, fatal consequences.
“But the grooming of children is a major issue for us all, and we launched this campaign in order to make both children and adults far more aware of the dangers posed by predatory individuals.
“I very much hope, and believe, that the CEASE campaign, and the film in particular, is helping to protect children and young people.”
There are several ways in which you can sign the pledge:
- Sign our online pledge
- Add our CEASE twibbon to your social media profile
- Text CEASE to 87007 (texts will be charged at your standard message rate)
- Sign a CEASE hand
- Send a CEASE hand selfie to LeicsPolice via Snapchat.
Screenings of Kayleigh’s Love Story to schoolchildren aged 11 and above began on September 21 this year, and to date it has been watched by 35,764 children in more than 1,000 controlled screenings held in schools by a team of Police Community Support Officers.
Following these screenings, a total of 35 “disclosures” have been made by children to the police and these are currently being investigated.
The full version of Kayleigh’s Love Story will be posted on the Force’s website at 9am on January 3 next year, together with a signed version, an audio described version, and versions of the film translated into five different languages.
Source:: Leicestershire Police News