Devon and Cornwall Police welcomes launch of ‘Say Something’ child sexual exploitation helpline – 116 000
The ‘Say Something’ helpline targeted at children and young people with concerns about child sexual exploitation (CSE) involving themselves or others has been launched this week. The new, free, 24/7 helpline number is: 116 000.
The helpline is run by the charity Missing People, in association with the National Working Group Network, and is funded by the Department of Education. Callers will be offered advice and, where appropriate, necessary or requested, access to the police to ensure protection and safeguarding.
Speaking on the day of the launch, the Child Sexual Exploitation Lead for Devon and Cornwall Police, Detective Chief Inspector, Neil Ralph said:
“Devon and Cornwall Police is delighted to support the Department of Education, National Working Group Network and Missing People in the launch of ‘Say Something’.
“This new initiative, allowing children and young people speedy and effective access to advice, guidance and protection by phoning or texting a dedicated helpline, is impressive in its simplicity and comprehensive in the layers of safeguarding possibilities it provides.
Call handlers will have access to Force Intelligence Bureaux and Regional Intelligence Units to allow them to act swiftly if a young person is in imminent danger while, at the same time, being able to keep the confidence of the caller. It truly puts the victim or potential victim at the centre of things and ensures that they have a sympathetic ear and a ready route to protection when they need it.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Tony Hogg added:
“This service will provide a further method of reporting and support around child sexual exploitation to those already in place. I hope that young people at risk or who find themselves in a difficult situation will feel confident in using this service to seek advice or report abuse in the knowledge that their call will be handled sensitively and provide much needed help and support.
“There is a commitment across the police service, partner agencies and government to prioritise child protection. No effort should be spared in ensuring that our children are safeguarded when they are most vulnerable and that they always have a route of access to those who will protect them.”