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Preston Police take multi-agency approach to tackling CSE and CCE 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Last weekend, Preston Police teamed up with partner agencies to continue to target those involved in CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation) and CCE (Child Criminal Exploitation) in the city. 

Officers from the Exploitation Team and Neighbourhood Policing Teams joined forces with partners from Lancashire County Council for pro-active, targeted operation – Op Freestar – which is aimed at tackling those involved and safeguarding young people who could be at risk. 

Officers, who were both uniformed and plain clothed, paired up with partner agencies to patrol and engage with groups of youths across the City, ensuring they are not involved with or at risk of being involved with CSE or CCE and offering advice and support. 

Activity included:

  • Engaging with numerous young people at various locations including Market Place, McDonalds and Preston Bus Station.
  • Conducted six train journeys from Preston to Lancaster, Blackpool and Wigan, engaging with young people and looking out for signs they could be involved in CSE or CCE.
  • Visits to eight hotels across Preston as part of Op Makesafe, a national initiative to ensure workers know the signs of criminal and sexual child exploitation and have the confidence to report any concerns.

Detective Sergeant Simon Massey said: “We are committed to preventing child sexual and criminal exploitation in Preston and bringing offenders to justice. These operations, which we carry out regularly, help us to do that. 

“It is a crime that can affect any child, anytime, anywhere - regardless of their social or ethnic background and we will carry out further operations of this kind alongside our other work to improve awareness and protect young people from exploitation.”