A campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) is going big and bold on a key West Midlands motorway route to spread the word about this hidden crime.

Motorists travelling through the M6/M5 junction this bank holiday weekend will see the message 'Could this be your child?' on a large digital motorway sign.

Aimed at parents, the digital display, which can be seen both north and southbound, highlights warning signs they need to be aware of to help them identify concerns.

The motorway message is part of the see me, hear me campaign from West Midlands Police and West Midlands councils including the City of Wolverhampton Council to raise awareness of CSE.

Emma Bennett, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Service Director for Children and Young People, said: "Child sexual exploitation is a horrific crime which has been hidden for far too long.

"We want to get the message out loud and clear that we all need to make ourselves aware of signs of abuse to help protect young people in our region.

"Over the bank holiday weekend, hundreds of thousands of motorists will be travelling along this key route and it's a great opportunity for us to spread the word.

"The digital display highlights the signs of abuse parents need to be aware of and also promotes our campaign website Type=links;Linkid=3771;Title=See me, hear me;Target=_blank; which people can visit for more information."

The digital display runs alongside a digital media campaign directly targeting young people asking the question, Do you know what your friend's doing?, and encouraging young people to look out for signs of grooming and sexual exploitation among their friends.

www.seeme-hearme.org.uk is a one stop shop for information about CSE and how to spot the warning signs, along with help and advice for young people, parents and carers, professionals and schools.

Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a young person should call West Midlands Police on 101, speak in confidence to Barnardo's on 0121 359 5333 or in an emergency call 999. Type=links;Linkid=3772;Title=ChildLine;Target=_blank; also have counsellors available online.

  • released: Friday 26 August, 2016