A Five Islands School pupil has designed a window sticker to show which establishments on Scilly have received training in awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
Tia Thompson won a competition among secondary school students organised in conjunction with the Community Safety partnership.
Last year the police visited a number of hotels, pubs, café’s, taxi services and some shops to deliver training about awareness of CSE, focusing on the signs to look for and who to contact if a child is thought to be in danger.
CSE is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.
Jennie Woodcock, Early Health Assistant with Scilly’s Children’s Social Care team, explained: “The danger is that with beach parties, staff house parties etc, younger people may find themselves in situations where they don’t feel comfortable and may become involved in sexual acts with people older than themselves and the grooming process may start off with people being bought drinks, food, cigarettes etc.
“Although the risk may not be as high on Scilly as other areas, and it may look different here, by raising awareness we can give children and the adults around them the tools to recognise dangerous situations and put a stop to CSE before anything has a chance to occur.”
Jennie and islands' PC Lisa Woolley revisited the establishments on St Mary’s at the start of this month to refresh the training and to issue Tia's window sticker to show that the business is a safe place and suspicious behaviour will not be tolerated. The pair will also visit the off-islands.
Tia won an Amazon Voucher and a special certificate issued by Devon and Cornwall Police at an assembly at the school on July 20th.
Her winning sticker is now on display in pubs and restaurants across St Mary’s.