Sex abuse, drugs, booze and grooming – schools and police send warning to thousands of Brighton and Hove parents
Schools and police have sent letters to the parents and carers of thousands of teenagers across Brighton and Hove, warning them about the dangers of “harmful behaviour”.
Sussex Police asked all the secondary schools in the city to write to parents about the threat of sex abuse, grooming, drink and drugs.
The letters also contain information about where to find help and how to report concerns.
One of the letters, from Patcham High School, said: “We have recently become concerned about the increased risk in the city of some students engaging in potentially harmful behaviour, in particular, alcohol and drug use and becoming vulnerable to possible sexual exploitation.
“We would strongly advise parents to ensure they know where their children are, who they are with and the importance of checking arrangements with a responsible adult.
“Sexual exploitation is something that can affect any young person, male or female, and from any background.
“We advise all our parents and carers to read this leaflet from Barnardo’s http://www.barnardos.org.uk/spot_the_signs_parents.pdf.
“WISE, our local sexual exploitation service, can be contacted on 07841 067418. If you have any concerns about the welfare of a young person, you can report this to the Front Door for Families on 01273 290400.
“Sussex Police have also asked us to send you the message below …
“Sussex Police believe that professionals, parents and children themselves hold vital information around those individuals who are dealing drugs and those children who are being exploited in some way.
“If this information can be gathered, channelled and properly assessed then we can improve the wellbeing of all children in our city.
“Your help in passing relevant information to agencies who are charged with safeguarding our children will help focus on the most vulnerable and target those causing the most harm.
“Call Sussex Police on 101 and quote Operation Rattle or via the Sussex Police website and give the information you hold.
“If you need the information to be passed on confidentially to avoid repercussions on you or others involved, then call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”