COUNCIL chiefs have revealed they are attempting to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation in East Staffordshire.
East Staffordshire Borough Council bosses held a drama production and discussion at Burton Town Hall in a bid to make young people and adults more aware of how to spot people being exploited and what to do.
The event also allowed for representatives from the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board to talk about how to correctly use the internet.
Bernard Peters, deputy leader for service commissioning at the borough council, said: “By holding events such as these, the council is able to raise awareness of the potential signs of the exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people.”
The event featured a drama production called Chelsea’s Choice, which told the story of three students who discover the diary of a girl called Chelsea.
Chelsea was a young girl who, having fallen out with her friends and family, was approached by a man called Gary. He was older, owned a car, had a flat and treated her like an adult but was not what he seemed to be.
Chelsea’s story is played out and examined by the three students along with their teacher in an attempt to understand what happened to Chelsea and how it could have been prevented.
The dramatic production was part of the borough council’s commitment to safeguarding vulnerable people in the area.
A council spokesman said: “The event aimed to raise awareness on numerous issues including child sexual exploitation and its various forms.
“It was also to increase awareness and understanding of ‘the grooming process’ and the differing forms that it can take.
“The event also promoted an understanding of and a desire for healthy relationships as well as safe internet use.”
Councillor Peters added: “Chelsea’s Choice is a hard-hitting production aimed at raising the awareness around the sensitive issues of child exploitation.”
This comes just days after Staffordshire Police swooped on several premises across Burton in a bid to stamp out alleged child grooming.