New play to help keep children safe

Elka Lee-Green and George Rhys Thomas during the play Chelsea's Choice.

Picture: Shaun Jones (160740-3594)

Elka Lee-Green and George Rhys Thomas during the play Chelsea's Choice. Picture: Shaun Jones (160740-3594)

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A CHARITY play highlighting the signs and symptoms of child sexual exploitation (CSE) is being performed in community centres.

Chelsea’s Choice is part of a youth charity’s support for the new Hampshire Constabulary scheme aiming to raise awareness of the dangers of CSE. Funded by Hampshire & Isle of Wight’s Police & Crime Commissioner and Artswork, Chelsea’s Choice demonstrates the issue of child sexual exploitation.

The AlterEgo production is being staged at Havant Academy and Park Community School.

PC Kerry Lewis of Havant Neighbourhoods Policing Team said: ‘Child sexual exploitation is one of our main priorities and we have been doing a great deal of work to make local businesses aware of the signs.

‘The new awareness campaign and the work we are doing in schools with the Active Communities Network will help us reach young people, parents and teachers.’

Charlotte Bishop, programme manager for Active Communities Network said: ‘We will be working closely with partners including schools and Havant Neighbourhood Policing Teams to ensure we offer activities and a safe space for young people.’

Artswork chief executive Jane Bryant said: ‘Using artforms such as theatre, filmmaking and scriptwriting can be a thought-provoking way for young people to explore a subject that is impacting on their lives.’

Police this week launched a campaign to highlight child sexual exploitation.

They have asked teachers, friends and parents to be alert to potential warning signs, which include when youngsters go missing, stay out late or skip school; have a changeable mood; are given unexplained gifts; are involved with people who are not their usual friends; and appear to be being controlled.

Anyone who wants information can call 101.

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