Specialist detectives teach Wakefield district hotel staff how to spot signs of child sexual exploitation

Police have given training to hotel staff across the Wakefield district on how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.

Hotel staff from across the Wakefield district have been given training on how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.

Specialist safeguarding detectives gave advice to hotel managers and employees during a conference at the Cedar Court hotel yesterday as part of ongoing work to protect children.

They were encouraged to look for common signs such as walk in or last minute bookings, young people looking uncomfortable and young girls trying to look older than their age in the company of older men.

Booking in and out without luggage and guests going in and out of rooms at unusual hours were also mentioned as potential warning signs.

Advice was also shared about how to recognise potential victims of human trafficking.

Signs could include multiple adults booked into one room, or rooms not booked in the names of the people staying in them.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Greenbank, of Wakefield District Police, said: “Working with businesses which can come into contact with the victims or perpetrators of child sexual exploitation (CSE) or modern slavery, such as hotels, takeaways and taxi ranks, continues to form a key part of our strategy in detecting and also preventing these offences.

“If those engaged in CSE bring their victims to these places front line staff will be among the first to come directly into contact with them and can play a vital role in identifying suspects and preventing abuse from taking place.

“I want to thank the Cedar Court Hotel for supporting the conference, and assisting our efforts to identify potential victims and offenders." 

Tacking child sexual exploitation remains a key priority for Wakefield District Police, which has its own specialist CSE team as well as other dedicated safeguarding detectives.

The conference follows a recent report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, which praised West Yorkshire Police's ongoing work to tackle human trafficking. 

Detective Sergeant Jim Harrison, of the Wakefield District CSE Team, said: “Signs of CSE can range from the quite obvious such as young people presenting in businesses with much older men in overtly suspicious circumstances to the really quite subtle.

“What we have been doing is teaching staff to look out for those smaller signs and not to hesitate in calling the police if they think they are witnessing child sexual offending.

"We would always encourage anyone who has information about child sexual offending or trafficking to contact West Yorkshire Police."

Call 101 to pass on information to police or ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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