More than 100 people attend information evening on child criminal exploitation Image:Bedfordshire Police

Event organised by local education provider The Seeds of Change

Over 100 parents, carers and professionals attended an information evening aimed at educating them around the risks of child criminal exploitation (CCE).

There were presentations from Bedfordshire Police school liaison officer Richard Denton and specialist training providers CYP First focussed on the dangers and techniques of county lines gangs. Guests were also able to ask questions of an expert panel of frontline agencies.

The event was organised by local education provider The Seeds of Change. It featured contributions from modern slavery charity Unseen, and child sexual exploitation charity Link to Change. Central Bedfordshire Council attended on behalf of the Bedfordshire’s three local authorities.

Hosted by Wootton Lower School

The event at Wootton Lower School heard about the extreme violence and grooming techniques used by criminal gangs involved in county lines.

There was also guidance on the threats that children face from being groomed online and how parents can respond to these challenges.

Lisa Robinson, Bedfordshire’s child sexual exploitation coordinator, who helped organise last night’s event, said:

“I was delighted to see so many people make the effort to come on a Thursday night.

“This shows the level of concern there is in our communities and the desire out there to stop our children falling victim to this criminal exploitation and serious violence.”

The event raised £780 for Link to Change. This charity works with children and young people at risk of sexual abuse and other forms of criminal exploitation.

Rachael Frossell, a director at The Seeds of Change, said:

“As a business professional who attended the Beds CSE Event in December last year, I found the event to be really enlightening from a business perspective, but essential as a parent.”

Similar events are now being planned, which will be announced in due course.

More than 100 people attend information evening on child criminal exploitation Image:Bedfordshire Police