Scotland

Police start online campaign to tackle child sex predators

CSE campaign police scotland Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption The campaign will run across social media and digital platforms for the next month

Police Scotland has launched its first public information campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE).

It will run across social media and digital platforms for the next month warning potential and existing child sex predators that officers are "on to them".

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said he would not tolerate Scottish children being groomed.

The Scottish government is supporting the £40,000 campaign.

The campaign outlines how abusers gain power over their victims by violence, coercion or intimidation.

They often target young people by offering them something, such as food, drugs, alcohol, gifts or affection, in return for sex.

'Groomed for abuse'

The drive's digital launch follows two weeks of phone box adverts being placed across Scotland where abusers are known to target young people.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: "Children across Scotland, both boys and girls, are being groomed for sex by predators.

"This kind of insidious behaviour can, at times, be hidden under a veil of seemingly innocent contact when in reality the child is being groomed to be sexually abused.

"Sexually exploiting a child will not be tolerated and our message to perpetrators is simple: we know how you operate, where you operate and the techniques you use. We're on to you."

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "Keeping children safe from abuse and exploitation is a key priority for the Scottish government and we fully support the work of Police Scotland to tackle those who prey on children."

The charity Barnardos Scotland, which is also supporting the campaign, urged people to report any concerns they might have.

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