Bucks businesses are to unite on National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day to help enforce a zero tolerance towards child abuse.

To support the day, on March 18, the police and community safety team is launching Hotel Watch – a scheme which aims to combat child sexual exploitation (CSE) within hotels and B&Bs.

Hotel Watch logo

By linking with the businesses, local authorities hope to tackle the CSE problem more effectively.

Hotel Watch information packs have been provided to hotel owners explaining the signs to watch out for and how they can act if they suspect CSE is happening on their premises.

Currently, 44 local hotels and B&Bs have pledged their support, including seven from Amersham, four from Chesham and four from Beaconsfield.

Neighbourhood Sargent Stephen Box, based at Iver police station, said: “Addressing CSE is a priority for Thames Valley Police.

“Working together with partner agencies and local hotels and B&Bs in this way will help us to continue tackling this and protect vulnerable young people.

“We are very pleased that the local hotel industry has been supportive and believe this will be beneficial to everyone involved, as well as to the local community.”

On top of this, March 18 is also being known as Helping Hands Day, as members of the public are being encouraged to write a personal pledge on their hands to show support for preventing CSE.

Helping Hand Day hopes for people to write supportive messages on their hands

Officers from the Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council community safety team will be out with Thames Valley Police helping to raise awareness of the Helping Hands campaign.

Chiltern District Council's Cabinet Member for Community, Cllr Graham Harris, said everyone should get involved to unite against CSE.

“Child sexual exploitation is insidious, it wrecks young lives and destroys trust,” he said.

“Preventing it happening is everyone's responsibility and knowing how you can report suspicious incidents is important in prevention.

“Therefore, I urge everyone to make a pledge on March 18.”

The community safety teams will be at Sainsbury's in Taplow on Friday March 17 from 11am until 2pm, encouraging shoppers to take the pledge.

For more information on CSE Awareness Day, click here .