All Atlas Court and Crime Bureau staff for South Yorkshire Police, including call handlers and dispatchers, have received Operation Makesafe training as part of the force’s continued commitment to tackle child sexual exploitation.
Operation Makesafe is a South Yorkshire Police child sexual exploitation training package that has been delivered to a number of industries across the region, including hotels and bus companies.
The training explains some of the warning signs of child sexual exploitation, as well as how to spot potential perpetrators and how to report suspicions.
Sergeant Katherine Wallis delivers the training for South Yorkshire Police officers and staff and also plays a key role delivering the training to businesses across the country.
She said: “The staff at Atlas Court have a vital role to play in recognising sexual exploitation because in many ways they are the force’s front line when people wish to report a crime.
“They need to be aware of the warning signs of exploitation and must be asking the right questions so we can ensure that wherever there is a child at risk, they receive the appropriate response and support.”
Over the last four weeks, all Atlas Court and Crime Bureau staff, over 400 people, have received the bespoke training package.
Since its inception in May 2013, Operation Makesafe training has been provided to hotels, bed and breakfasts, bus companies, taxi drivers, transport companies, retail and food outlets.
In recent months, it has also been given to university students as part of their hospitality courses and forces across the country and now rolling out similar training packages that follow the Operation Makesafe model.
Tracy Potter, head of communications for South Yorkshire Police, added: “It’s massively important to maintain awareness of this awful crime by regular staff training, so we can all can play our part in trying to safeguard children from harm.”
For more information about child sexual exploitation, please visit www.southyorks.police.uk/spotthesigns. Help and advice is available by calling or texting the national helpline Say Something on 116 000, or you can report concerns via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.