A POWERFUL campaign is being mounted to highlight the dangers of child sexual exploitation.

Schools in Halton will be raising awareness of this growing risk with pupils and parents.

Agencies across Cheshire, involved in safeguarding young people, are launching a campaign entitled ‘The more you know, the more you see’.

Halton Clr Ged Philbin, board member for children, young people and families, said: "Everyone has a part to play in the protection of children. It is the eyes and ears of everyone around that may be the key to helping protect a child from sexual exploitation."

The campaign aims to create debate amongst young people, professionals, parents and others people responsible for caring for young people, about how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.

Detective Ch Insp Nigel Wenham said: “Ensuring young people are familiar with the signs of child sexual exploitation will help them to make positive decisions about relationships, and warn them about relationships with people who may want to manipulate and control them in order to sexually exploit them.

“If child sexual exploitation can be talked about openly in the home, at school, with friends, with family and those charged with caring for young people then they will be able to trust those people around them and be able to break free by seeking the vital help they need.”

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer added: “We want parents and those who care for some of our most vulnerable children in our communities to play their part. Child sexual exploitation is a hidden crime which can go unnoticed but causes untold damage, both physical and mental, on young victims caught up in its web, leaving them scarred for life.”

Children and their parents are urged to visit the website knowandsee.co.uk