COLUMN: Derbyshire’s PCC Alan Charles on the importance of protecting our children

Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire Alan Charles
Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire Alan Charles

With child sex exploitation so prominently in the news, there can be few people unaware of the risks to our children and young people.

But what they may not know is how to recognise the threat and where to get help – knowledge which is now being delivered by a powerful play in almost every secondary school in Derbyshire.

Chelsea’s Choice was launched on Monday (3 November) as part of a new child sex exploitation (CSE) prevention project. The play’s month-long tour will portray real-life experiences of exploited children, presenting clear awareness messages and information for students and urging teachers, parents, carers and people everywhere to report anything they feel is amiss.

The importance of promoting awareness, signposting support organisations, and pressing home the need to report abuse prompted me to jointly fund this production together with the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Boards.

It’s vital that young people share their concerns with us. I cannot stress how important it is to speak up and I urge everyone, if you see something, say something.