Staff in South Yorkshire hotels trained to look out for signs of child sex abuse

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A scheme to help prevent children from being sexually exploited in Sheffield hotels is being rolled out across the county.

Operation Makesafe was launched in May last year and involves police officers working with hotel staff to train them on the warning signs of sexual exploitation, bow to spot potential offenders and victims and to report their concerns.

So far staff in 60 hotels across South Yorkshire have received training and 21 incidents have been reported to the police.

Officers have also received training on the best way to respond to reports of concerns from hotel staff.

Sergeant Katherine Wallis, who runs Operation Makesafe, said: “Hotels are just one of a number of different types of premises perpetrators try to use hotels to facilitate their crime.

“We are preventing them from doing so by working in partnership with hotels across South Yorkshire and protecting young people from becoming victims of this horrendous crime.

“The results so far show how hotel staff are being more vigilant and aware of the movements of their guests and are more confident in contacting the police with any suspicions.

“I would like to thank all the hotels who have worked with us, we are grateful for their support.”

Ian Slater, Chairman of Hospitality Sheffield, which represents the city’s hoteliers, said: “The feedback from everyone taking part has been incredibly positive and has given them the confidence and awareness to deal with what can be very difficult situations with an effective support team in place to contact.”