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West Mercia organisations receive training to spot signs of exploitation

Training given to organisations to help protect those at risk of exploitation continues, as PCC funded courses are adapted to meet Covid-19 demands.                                                                                    

The We Don’t Buy Crime initiative, which as well as working with towns and parishes to tackle acquisitive crime, also provides free and bespoke vulnerability and exploitation training to organisations across West Mercia.

The training raises awareness of exploitation and the signs to look for that may highlight someone is being exploited, or is particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Crime types covered during the sessions include online sexual abuse through gaming sites, bullying, sexting, sexual extortion, and financial extortion by using the pandemic as a way to gain money.

Due to the extra demands and increase in vulnerabilities Covid-19 and social distancing guidelines have placed on organisations, sessions have been adapted to ensure the vital training can still be delivered. They are now running virtually and online courses through zoom have been introduced.

As part of PCC John Campion’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable, he provided £63,825 of funding, along with support from the Telford Community Safety Partnership, for the dedicated exploitation and vulnerability trainers.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Protecting communities, particularly our most vulnerable, is an integral part of creating a safer West Mercia and will always be at the heart of my work as Commissioner. We must do everything we can to understand how people are drawn into criminality and prevent it from happening in the first place.

“The work of the dedicated vulnerability and exploitation trainers, especially during a time when vulnerabilities are being further targeted, is vital in reducing harm and creating communities that are safer and more secure. I would encourage more organisations to take part and help protect people from harm. “

We Don’t Buy Crime Inspector, Ram Aston, said: “We’re delighted at the investment from our police and crime commissioner to enable us to do all we can to look after those who may be vulnerable to exploitation. So far, almost 18,000 people have been trained and as with many organisations we have had to adapt to the Covid regulations and are pleased we have been able to adapt our training to deliver it online so that we can continue to upskill frontline professionals.”

Organisations can visit https://wedontbuycrime.co.uk/associatedharm/  or email wedontbuycrime@westmercia.pnn.police.uk for more information.

Issued on Tuesday 21st July 2020

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