Global recognition for Operation Makesafe

The work of South Yorkshire Police and students from Sheffield Hallam University on Operation Makesafe, a child protection training package, has been recognised in a global study on the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.

The study, commissioned by ECPAT and published in May this year, contains detailed studies about child sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industries from across the globe.

Contained within the report is reference to South Yorkshire Police’s work alongside Sheffield Hallam University students on Operation Makesafe.

Operation Makesafe is a South Yorkshire Police child sexual exploitation training package that has been delivered to a number of industries, including hotels and bus companies.

Businesses are taught about the warning signs of child sexual exploitation, how to spot potential perpetrators and how to report suspicions to police, as they continue to crack down on this crime.

In November last year, SYP worked with students from a combination of International Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management courses to translate the training materials into a number of languages, meaning that the training could be offered to more people.

Sergeant Katherine Wallis, who is named in the expert paper by Sheffield Hallam University, said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be mentioned in a global study about child sexual exploitation and I am thrilled that Operation Makesafe is getting this recognition.

“This paper is a fascinating insight into how other countries across the world are tackling this horrific crime and I’d urge anyone working with children or interested in the field to read the report.

“I am indebted to the support of the university and to the hard work of the students, who have helped us make the Operation Makesafe package more accessible to a wider range of communities because of their contributions.”

Ray Nolan, Senior Lecturer in Sheffield Hallam University Business School, said: “Students can not only benefit but can contribute to the fight against child sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industries.

“Our students already work with South Yorkshire Police, the National Working Group and Sheffield Child Safeguarding to develop the training material in addition to our students who have completed the training and taken the knowledge into their workplace and discussed it with their managers and colleagues.

“This project has helped to raise awareness and has generated a more informed intelligence picture which is contributing to the fight against CSE and particularly for our international students who quite often have not encountered such topics before, have been keen to take this knowledge forward within their professions all over the world.”

You can read the global study here: and the Sheffield Hallam University paper that contributed to the study here:

To report concerns about child sexual exploitation, you can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the national helpline Say Something on 116 000.