This week Bondholders gathered at fellow Bondholder the University of Derby to hear the Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, Peter Goodman, and Mayor of Derby, Councillor John Whitby, speak about the important work of Bondholder charity Safe and Sound in helping to tackle child sexual exploitation across the city and county.
Peter Goodman talked about his time working on Operation Retriever, which saw 27 young people safeguarded and 14 people in the region arrested and charged with a variety of offences. He went on to explain how the Force is working with Safe and Sound to continue protecting young people from these crimes.
"It was Safe and Sound that made us truly aware of what was going on in the city and with this intelligence Operation Retriever was launched. Without this operation we could have been another city that was considered to have been ignoring what was happening to vulnerable young people in our region, but because of Safe and Sound and the operation we were able to make a difference.”
As well as hearing from the Chief Constable attendees watched a video produced by the charity where young people spoke about their experiences of sexual exploitation and the effect it has had on them.
The Mayor talked about his background as a foster carer, why he is supporting Safe and Sound, and surprised the organisation by presenting them with a cheque for £2,000.
Nathalie Walters, Chief Executive of Safe and Sound, said “The event has given us a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about child sexual exploitation, as well as hopefully increasing support for our work. As a charity we rely on grants and donations from the public to help us provide vital support to victims of this form of child sexual abuse. If we have helped one person to recognise and respond to a child at risk or made someone commit to helping us to raise money, then the event has been a success.”
“I’d like to thank the Chief Constable and the Mayor of Derby for coming along to speak today, their input was invaluable. The donation presented by the Mayor was a lovely surprise, and really will help us to continue to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people. I’d also like to say a big thank you to Century Mobile, the University of Derby and Cactus Images for supporting the event.”