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Wyre Police engage with over 100 young people in local safeguarding operation

Monday, November 14, 2022

Operation Lighthouse is a joint initiative between Wyre Police and their exploitation team, Wyre Community Partnership, Lancashire Children’s Social Care, Lancashire Contextual Health Team and Targeted Youth.

The non-enforcement operation promotes the safeguarding of young people on the streets or public areas who may be classed as vulnerable or at risk of significant harm. This includes young people who may be consuming alcohol or other intoxicants and engaging in anti-social behaviour.

Op Lighthouse aims to engage with parents, guardians and carers of these young people to ensure that they are physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually healthy, adopting healthy lifestyles and choosing not to take illegal drugs or alcohol.

On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th October 2022, officers and partner services visited hotspot areas in Poulton and Fleetwood and engaged with over 100 young people.

Searches were made under the Misuse of Drugs Act, and disruptions were made to groups as large as 60 young people committing anti-social behaviour in the street.

Children at Milton Street Community Centre provided great feedback about the operation, stating that they felt a safe and secure presence during the evenings.

Inspector Martin Wyatt said: “We engaged with over 100 young people who were out in Fleetwood. In five cases, we prevented harm by removing children to a place of safety. These children were at risk of harm through alcohol and substance use.

“We involved parents and introduced families to agencies who are able to provide further support where necessary.

“My officers frequently work with Wyre Council, Social Care and local youth groups to prevent harm and reduce ASB. We will conduct operations such as this regularly and remove children from potentially harmful situations. Our pledge is to keep young people safe in Wyre.”

The operation will be conducted again in January 2023.

This activity follows the national #LookCloser campaign, which encourages people to get to know the signs of child exploitations and how to report it. 

SIGNS OF CHILD EXPLOITATION:

  • Travelling alone, particularly in school hours, late at night and frequently

  • Looking lost or in unfamiliar surroundings

  • Anxious, frightened, angry or displaying other behaviours that make you worried about them

  • In possession of more than one phone

  • Carrying lots of cash

  • Potentially under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Being instructed or controlled by another individual

  • Accompanied by individuals who are older than them

  • Seen begging in a public space

HOW TO REPORT IT:

  • Call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency

  • Report to the police online

  • Text the British Transport Police on 61016

  • Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

  • Call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

Find out more here - #LookCloser To Spot Exploitation | The Children's Society (childrenssociety.org.uk)


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