Police and university form partnership to raise awareness of child exploitation

Celebrating the work of students at Sunderland University at the film premier.
Celebrating the work of students at Sunderland University at the film premier.
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Wearside media students have worked with police to raise the issues to child sexual exploitation in a series of films.

The young people from the University of Sunderland collaborated with Northumbria Police and Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird on the project.

To help highlight the issue Northumbria Police, Mrs Baird, Changing Lives, and Reach, challenged the students to create four short films – each one tackling a different area of child sexual expolitation (CSE).

It follows on from similar successful projects over the last two years which have focused on the blurred lines of sexual consent, and domestic violence. The films will be used by Northumbria Police to train and educate people about recognising the signs and effects of CSE.

Mrs Baird said: “There’s some very positive work going on by Northumbria Police and partners to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation. We need to do all we can to keep building on this, encouraging people to spot the signs and to report any concerns to the police, and that’s where these films come in.

"Through their raw and often graphic content are some very important messages. I congratulate the students involved for their hard work – these excellent clips will play a key part in future training initiatives.”

Michelle Sheridan, Protection of Vulnerable People Manager for Northumbria Police, said: "We do a lot of proactive engagement with partners and schools to help educate young people, parents, teachers and carers about the signs of CSE. We know it is a difficult topic to approach young people with but with early intervention it can help prevent offenders taking advantage of children.

“The videos the students have produced are excellent and will be a great resource to help with this engagement, and will hopefully lead to more people coming forward if they see something that doesn’t seem right.”

Adelle Hulsmeier, Lecturer in Drama and Performing Arts at the University of Sunderland said: “It has been great to work with Northumbria Police for the third year running to create thought-provoking pieces that are tangible and have a purpose.

“We are continuously impressed with the mature and dedicated work the students produce, and had a fantastic evening showcasing and congratulating the students on this year's short films.”

The short films were premiered at an awards evening at the university’s Media Centre, attended by Mrs Baird and Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best, and the students were presented with awards.

To view the films follow the below links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgTu4WVZDNo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cp20VHwHZM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYbftqoV1tc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ftHGIoaeh8