Potters Bar pupils learn about dangers of child grooming

PUBLISHED: 09:34 14 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:37 14 October 2016

Young person using smart phone

Young person using smart phone

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Young people from schools in Potters Bar and Bushey watched a play highlighting the issues of grooming and online safety.

Councillor Brenda Batten
Picture: Blake Ezra PhotographyCouncillor Brenda Batten Picture: Blake Ezra Photography

The production, called ‘Chelsea’s Choice’, was performed to more than 400 young people who attend Dame Alice Owen’s School and The Park Education Support Centre in Potters Bar, and Bushey Meads School in Bushey.

The play tells the story of three students who discover the diary of a 15-year-old girl called Chelsea. Chelsea has fallen out with her friends and family and has met a man called Gary who is kind and understanding, but is not what he seems.

Chelsea’s story is examined and played out by the three students who, along with their teacher, attempt to understand what happened and how it could have been prevented.

Councillor Brenda Batten, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and health, said: “We offered this innovative and powerful production to all schools in Hertsmere and I am so pleased these three schools accepted.

“The aim was to highlight how young people are groomed by adults for the purpose of child exploitation and the subtle methods used to snare and eventually take control.

“The performances are done in a sensitive and appropriate manner to equip the young people with the skills and knowledge to protect themselves and their friends.”

The play was funded by Hertsmere’s Community Safety Partnership and run by AlterEgo Creative Solutions Ltd to raise awareness of childhood sexual exploitation, the tactics used, the law and how to get help.

Councillor Batten added: “Young people aged between 11 and 15 are most vulnerable to child sexual exploitation, so it’s vital we equip young people with the skills to protect themselves.

“Some of the girls said that they found the performance very powerful and it really got the child sexual exploitation message across and another young girl told us that it has made her think about who she talks to online and which sites she visits.

“These comments make it so worthwhile.”

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