South Yorkshire Police help local hotels crack down on child sexual exploitation

Police across South Yorkshire have carried out a series of operations to investigate whether hotels across the region can identify child sexual exploitation (CSE) on their premises.

The week of activity came ahead of National CSE Awareness Day on Saturday, 18th March.

Officers visited a number of hotels across South Yorkshire to identify whether or not they were able to recognise CSE and if they knew how to act on suspected sexual exploitation and abuse.

All the hotels were receiving the internationally recognised Operation Makesafe training package, which helps businesses in South Yorkshire spot warning signs of potential exploitation.

These targeted operations saw an adult man, played by a police officer, try to book a hotel room with a teenage girl played by a police cadet.

At all five hotels visited in Sheffield the officer and cadet were challenged by hotel staff and refused a room.

In Barnsley, six of the seven hotels visited refused them rooms. The remaining hotel received fresher training from officers on detecting the warning signs of CSE.

The operation also went to 13 hotels in Doncaster in which seven refused access to the officer and cadet and six did not intervene.

Force lead for child sexual exploitation, Detective Chief Inspector Melanie Palin, said: “Overall, the operations across our region went very well and I am grateful to the officers and young cadets who gave up their time to take part in this exercise.”

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to tackling this crime, working in partnership with businesses, agencies, communities and the wider public to protect and safeguard our young people from harm.

“While there has been concerted and targeted activity over the last week in the run-up to CSE Awareness Day, this is a continuous programme of activity and similar operations will be run in the future.”