HOTEL and pub staff have been given training to help spot the signs of child grooming.
National charity NWG Network said its visits to hotel owners and licensees in South Yorkshire were already seeing results.
The charity’s campaign Say Something if you See Something was mainly developed to help workers in the hotel, licensing and taxi industries to be more aware of CSE, how it could affect their businesses and what they need to do if they recognise that someone is being exploited on their premises.
Campaign material has already been downloaded over 50,000 times by several hotel chains, local authority licensing departments and police forces in the UK, the charity said.
NWG has worked with many Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards to promote the Say Something campaign in their areas, allowing them to monitor and report on CSE.
One hotel manager, who did not wish to be named, was alerted by one of his night porters to suspicions over a man and young girl who had booked into the hotel.
The porter’s instinct was correct and on entering the room it was clear the man was grooming the young girl.
He was arrested and the girl taken away.
“We were particularly concerned that our younger staff needed to be made more aware of the signs and symptoms of grooming as they are generally less inclined to notice,” the hotel manager said.
“I don’t think anyone who is legally with their children will have an issue with us checking to make sure everything is all right.”
Kevin Murphy, NWG’s response unit lead for licensing and the hotel industry, said the charity had already developed strong links with several major hotel chains as well as the Federation of Small Businesses.
“By using our resources effectively, with both their staff and customers, it is not only helping to keep children and vulnerable adults safe but is also protecting the reputations of businesses,” he said.
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