Safeguarding vulnerable children and young people is vitally important, and to continue the work they’ve been doing Cheshire Constabulary has assigned designated police officers to care homes across the county.
DS Ruth Atherton said: “The aim is to build relationships in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those in care. Itâ€²s also an opportunity to work more closely with the homes to identify and prevent child sexual exploitation, which vulnerable children such as those in care, can be at risk of.”
The Youth Ambassador, Dominic Rogers, helped to scope out the role profile for the officers after consulting with young people and relevant organisations about what their requirements were. He said: “This initiative has been brought about to cement the relationships between care home staff, officers and young people. By having officers working closely with young people, I hope that they feel confident and comfortable enough to talk about any issues they have.”
PC Michelle Williamson, is a designated officer for care homes in the south of Warrington, she says: “We build a rapport with the staff and children within the care home, and this is constantly maintained. This relationship has been beneficial when myself or other designated officers have attended incidents at their care homes and weâ€²ve quickly dealt with issues as the young people know us and we know them, which is extremely beneficial as some of the young people we deal with have trust issues.”
If you want to find out more about the issue of child sexual exploitation and how to identify the signs, log on toÂ www.knowandsee.co.uk.