Operation Henderson, is a joint initiative being run by Essex Safeguarding Children’s Board, British Transport Police, Essex Police, Rail Operators and Braintree, Basildon and Epping district councils and the Children’s Society. It aims to raise awareness of the vulnerability of young people to exploitation and abuse at stations and transport networks in parts of Essex.
Research and local data have shown transport networks are used by vulnerable young people who may be at risk of CSE/CCE and trafficking. Young people often gravitate towards stations because they are busy, anonymous places that also provide some form of shelter and access to food and drink. A young person may use a station or public transport as a way to try to disappear. Bus and rail networks can also be used by offenders to traffic young people for the purpose of sexual and criminal exploitation.
If you're a young person:
You may notice these things about your friend or your friend might tell you some of these things:
The Police: If you have any intelligence or wish to report concerns please call 101. If you think a child or young person is in immediate danger always call 999.
British Transport Police can be contacted by phone on 0800 40 50 40 or members of the public can report a crime or an incident that occurred on your train via text 61016.
Crimestoppers You can report concerns anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org
The information you give however insignificant it may seem, might be the piece of the jigsaw puzzle that completes a picture. The police would rather you report your concerns.
If you're a young person and want advice or to talk to someone:
Childline: 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk
Essex Partnership of Rape Crisis Centres: Specialist support and confidential counselling for adults, children and young people across Essex, who have experienced sexual violence. Victims can refer online: synergyessex.org.uk or 0300 003 7777
British Transport Police: 0800 405 040 or text 61016
Missing people: Call or text 116 000
NSPCC: Call our 24hrs helpline anonymously: 0808 800 5000
The Children’s Society: 01245 493311 www.childrenssocietyeast.org.uk