Child protection

Aylesbury Vale District Council is inviting business people in the town to join a scheme to help protect vulnerable children and stamp out sexual exploitation in the Vale.

The Nightwatch scheme will be a co-operation between AVDC, Thames Valley Police and the well-known children’s charity, Barnardo’s. The aim is to enable members of the local night-time community to feel confident in spotting and reporting suspected instances of child abuse and sexual exploitation.

Businesses which sign up to the scheme will be given information to help their staff recognise danger signs and look out for potential perpetrators of crimes against children.

The district council’s licensing manager, Peter Seal, explained: “Through participation in the Nightwatch scheme, people who work in Aylesbury have the chance to make a real difference in combating the exploitation of vulnerable young people. We’re urging hotels, pubs and restaurants to sign up and support this important project, which gives local people a genuine opportunity to become the ‘eyes and ears’ of our community in the fight against child sexual exploitation.”

Councillor Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Communities and Civic Amenities, added: “Aylesbury Vale District Council is committed to working with the police to rid the community of criminal activity against children. We are proud to be embarking on the Nightwatch initiative with Thames Valley Police and Barnardo’s, whose tireless work to help young people is inspirational. We very much hope that local businesses will see the value of joining this scheme, which will allow us all to work together to ensure the safety of children in the Vale.”

The Nightwatch scheme will officially be launched at The Gateway in Aylesbury on February 22.

In the meantime, business people who would like to register their support should do so by contacting: [email protected]