Police are launching a new pilot scheme in North Lanarkshire to help combat child sexual exploitation.
At a meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s community safety committee, Detective Chief Inspector Donna Duffy revealed details of the scheme, which will be adopted across a wider area if successful.
The pilot involves four secondary schools in North Lanarkshire – Caldervale in Airdrie and Coltness, St Aidan’s and Clyde Valley Highs in Wishaw.
Head teachers and assistant heads will be advised on warning signs of child sexual abuse to watch out for, and then pass this information to their staff. Police officers and representatives of other organisations will also come to the schools and speak directly to pupils.
There will also be information sessions for parents held in the schools.
DCI Duffy said: “We will be encouraging pupils to talk to their parents about what they are told in school, thus spreading the message across the community and creating engagement in parents so they can come to our information evenings, which will run for a couple of hours and involve staff from several agencies including the police.
“This is a multi-agency project which will involve all manner of local organisations. We are even talking to taxi drivers about reporting anything suspicious they may see when they have children in their cars, and also street sweepers who might spot something while out on their rounds early in the morning.”