Lancashire footballers back child exploitation initiative

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Footballers are giving the boot to child abuse as part of a campaign to tackle sexual exploitation.

Lancashire FA and Blackburn Rovers FC pledged their support to help raise awareness of the issue as part of week-long campaign by the police focusing on the increasing number of victims being targeted online.

Lancashire FA has produced a film to raise awareness of the signs of children being sexually exploited and posters will be displayed around Blackburn Rovers’ ground in the run up to Christmas.

Det Insp Tony Baxter from Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit said it is important to raise awareness after new figures show detectives are dealing with more than one case a day.

He said: “It is so important to educate people to recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation. Anyone who comes into contact with children needs to be able to recognise the signs, which is why it is fantastic to receive support from Blackburn Rovers and the Lancashire Football Association.”

During the week, there will be visits to schools, children’s centres, libraries, children’s homes and takeaways.

There will also be training for doctors and nurses at GP surgeries and hospitals on the signs of child sexual exploitation.

Local awareness raising events will also take place and in some areas there will be theatre productions in schools and at youth clubs.

A conference, which will take place on today, will see more than 250 professionals come together to discuss the issues.

l To see Lancashire FA’s video see www.lep.co.uk.