Latest News | 20 July 2021

Council teams up with charity on ‘Safe Place’ campaign

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Derby City Council and Safe and Sound have joined forces on a new campaign, which aims to identify businesses and venue that can provide a ‘safe place’ for children and young people.

The joint initiative between the city council and the charity, which works with children, young people and families affected by child exploitation is called Safe Places Derby.

It is looking to identify businesses and venues in Derby that can become a ‘safe place’ for children and young people, giving them somewhere to go if they feel they are at risk of harm within their community.

If approached by a child or young person, businesses and venues that sign up to become Safe Places would be required to contact their parent/carer or, in more serious matters, the police.

While this doesn’t require any training, Safe and Sound is offering any necessary safeguarding or child exploitation training.

Those businesses who sign up to the scheme will be given a window sticker to identify them as a Safe Place.

Councillor Evonne Williams, cabinet member for children and young people services, said: “The Safe Places campaign is a great step towards creating a safer city for vulnerable children and young people, so it is extremely welcome to be progressing our work with Safe and Sound.

“It is vital that our young residents have places to go where they can feel safe, and I would encourage any businesses or venues that can become a Safe Place to do so.”

Safe and Sound is a long-established charity supporting children and young people who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation.

It also supports the wider family and raises awareness of the dangers facing young people in local communities.

Its chief executive Tracy Harrison said: “Over the past months, many young people who have been socially isolated for so long may well feel anxious about getting out and about again and lack confidence to cope with situations.

“Young people have also been spending far more time on social media and gaming channels – increasing their vulnerability to online grooming or sexual and other criminal purposes such as involvement in drugs lines.

“There are, therefore, widespread concerns that these online relationships will evolve into direct exploitation.

“As society starts to get back to the ‘new normal’ Safe Places Derby adds another layer of support for young people who need to re-adapt to life.”

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