By Greg Dawson
This week is West Yorkshire’s safeguarding week, to help raise awareness about modern slavery and sexual abuse.
From the 24-28th of June, West Yorkshire police opening live twitter chats on Wednesday and Friday evening from 7pm – 8pm, giving members of the public the chance to ask a panel of experts about the topic.
Last Friday detectives arrested 44 people after an investigation into historic child sex abuse charges in Kirklees. The allegations were made by four women abused as children between 1995 and 2002.
Last year an investigation into Huddersfield child sex ring took place, 20 men jailed for their part in a Huddersfield based grooming gang which raped and abused girls between 2014 and 2011
Safeguarding week will bring together organisations across all districts in west Yorkshire to learn and develop opportunities for volunteers who work to help safeguard adults and children.
Detective Inspector Damian Simpson, of the Kirklees Safeguarding Unit, said: “We wanted to hold these sessions during safeguarding week to allow the public to ask for information or seek advice from us. The conversation will be open and honest and we hope that we will be able to assist members of the public and offer valuable information in the hope that we can raise awareness about these very serious issues.
“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or non-recent, to report it to the police. Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kinds of offences.
“If you see something concerning either a young or vulnerable person that doesn’t feel right, or looks suspicious, you can report your concerns 100% anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or send an untraceable online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org. Reports of modern day slavery can also be made to the Modern Day Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700.”
Wednesday 26 June between 7 – 8pm – Sexual Violence and Support – panel will consist of Victim Support and Kirklees District Police.
Friday 28 June between 7 – 8pm – Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking – panel will consist of Hope for Justice, Safer Kirklees, Kirklees Council and Kirklees District Police.
For ore information on signs of modern say slavery and human trafficking at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/advice/modern-slavery/modern-slavery-human-trafficking
Also information including methods of reporting for victims of sexual violence can be found on the West Yorkshire Police website: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/staysafe