Operation Makesafe, a joint initiative between the Metropolitan Police and Westminster City Council, aims to train staff to notice the signs of CSE. Staff from Radison Blu Hotels and Resorts will be the first to undergo this training, with others expected to follow in the coming weeks.
Figures show that 2m children under the age of 16 are affected by sexual violence or abuse, while police received over 1k CSE referrals of children that were identified as being at risk.
Businesses that sign up for Operation Makesafe will be provided with free police training which will help staff identify the signs of a child at risk and teach them to report the incident anonymously by calling 101 and quoting Operation Makesafe.
Inge Huijbrechts, vice president responsible business at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, said that hotels play an ‘essential role’ in protecting children from exploitation.
“This police training is an excellent next step in the many actions Radisson Blu Hotels are already taking to safeguard children and complements activities such as our internal Child Protection training, the signing of the ECPAT CODE and our support for World Childhood Foundation,” she said.
Councillor Danny Chalkley, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Keeping children safe is our top priority and no child should ever be the victim of such horrific abuse. We are committed to working with the police to put a stop to this abhorrent crime.”
“Westminster has one of the highest densities of hotels in London, employing thousands of staff members, which is why bringing this training to central London is so important. We are delighted that the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel London is the first to join our campaign and hope the training will allow staff to protect children by recognising the signs and knowing how to report anything suspicious.”
Barnardo’s and the Department for Education are also offering free CSE awareness training to front-line staff who work in the night time economy until the end of March 2016.