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Video: Clarets join child abuse fight
THE fight to stamp out child sex grooming has been taken up by Clarets boss Sean Dyche and his first-team squad.
The Turf Moor boss and a host of Burnley FC players have teamed up with Lancashire Police to produce a hard-hitting video about the early warning signs of exploitation.
Police bosses hope the message will get through to young people – or their friends and family – before harm is done.
And the Clarets stars, filmed at the Gawthorpe training ground, have stressed that the issue can affect girls from any social or ethnic background.
Boss Dyche rounds off the 77-second clip with a direct appeal to those who suspect a youngster may already be in harm’s way.
“If you are concerned about a young person you know, call Lancashire police on 101. In an emergency, always diall 999,” he said.
Players have warned that while the grooming may initially appear to be a ‘consensual’ relationship, it can lead to youngsters having sex in return for attention, gifts, alcohol or cigarettes.
A Lancashire police spokesman said: “Sexual exploitation is child abuse and, although they may not realise it, it puts the young victim at huge risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health.
“Many young people who are being abused do not realise they are at risk and will not call for help. They may see themselves as willing participants when in fact their behaviour is anything but consenting.”
Parents and guardians are being urged to be on the lookout for telltale signs of exploitation, such as youngsters returning home with unexplained gifts or money, having significantly older friends, being overly secretive, playing truant or self-harming. Concerns can be passed to the Operation Freedom team on 101 or 01706 237397.
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