A LITTLEHAMPTON business is backing Sussex Police’s war against the ‘vile crime’ of child sexual exploitation.
The Body Shop has adopted the issue as its national community awareness focus for this year.
On Friday (May 23), staff from the ethical cosmetics business – which has its head office at the Watersmead Business Park – joined with police chiefs, Sussex’s police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne and the Government’s crime minister, Norman Baker, at a briefing in Lewes aimed at tackling the crime.
It follows a special assessment carried out by police which revealed more than 100 young people in Sussex were at risk of systematic sexual exploitation by older youths or men.
The report found that young people, mainly teenage girls, may receive gifts, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sometime apparent affection, for engaging in sexual activity, with individuals or groups, outside their own families.
Mrs Bourne said: “No child should ever be the victim of this kind of horrific abuse and agencies that work with children have a collective responsibility to work together to stamp it out.
“As police and crime commissioner, I want all victims and those at risk of abuse, to know they have somewhere to go where they will be listened to and believed. Most importantly of all, when a young person does come forward, swift action must be taken.”
For the full story, see tomorrow’s Gazette (Thursday, May 29).