An employee from The Children’s Society has been given the ‘Commanders OCU Commendation’ police award, for her exceptional work raising awareness in child sexual and criminal exploitation.
Lucy Belcher, a Disrupting Exploitation Worker of the national charity, was presented her achievement by Craig Turner, British Metropolitan Police’s Detective Superintendent, at The Peel Centre event yesterday.
Since 2017, she has collaborated with the Metropolitan Police’s Sexual Exploitation Continuous Improvement Team and trained over 1,800 young people, parents, carers, community members, businesses and professionals including Police Officers.
Belcher was recommended by a Detective Inspector from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, for her insight; helping ‘embed sustainable change’ needed to protect young Londoners.
The Inspector also claimed in his nomination: ‘Her advice and guidance, particularly in respect of the prevention work being done by The Children Society have directly influenced the Met’s strategic plans to deliver effective prevention strategies and reduce offending and victimisation in respect of child sexual exploitation’.
Between 2017/18, the charity has worked with 11,031 children and young people; the policy changes during this period improving the lives of 554, 791.
The Children’s Society might be a small team but has ‘exceeded expectations’, supporting operational lines and using social media to increase the force’ understanding of trends emerging across County Lines.
Rob Jackson, Area Director at The Children’s Society, said: “We strive to ensure children involved in sexual and criminal exploitation are always recognised as victims and not treated like criminals who have made a choice to get involved with these activities.”
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