Radisson Blu has become the first business in Westminster to pledge its support of a police campaign raising awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in hotels, taxis and other businesses.
Operation Makesafe is a joint initiative between the Metropolitan Police and Westminster City Council that aims to train staff to spot the signs of CSE. Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts is the first major business in Westminster to undergo the training, with others expected to participate in the coming weeks.
Two million children under 16 across the UK are affected by sexual violence or abuse, with police receiving over 1,000 CSE referrals of children that were identified as being at risk.
Councillor Danny Chalkley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said, “Keeping children safe is our top priority and no child should ever be the victim of such horrific abuse. We are committed to working with the police to put a stop to this abhorrent crime.
“Westminster has one of the highest densities of hotels in London, employing thousands of staff members, which is why bringing this training to central London is so important. We are delighted that the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel London is the first to join our campaign and hope the training will allow staff to protect children by recognising the signs and knowing how to report anything suspicious.”
Inge Huijbrechts, Vice President Responsible Business at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said, “Our hotels and employees around the world have an essential role to play in helping to protect children from exploitation. This police training is an excellent next step in the many actions Radisson Blu Hotels are already taking to safeguard children, and complements activities such as our internal Child Protection training, the signing of the ECPAT CODE and our support for World Childhood Foundation.”
Businesses that sign up to Operation Makesafe will be provided with free police training which will allow them to not only recognise the signs of a child at risk, but to report the incident anonymously to police by calling 101 and quoting Operation Makesafe.
Companies interested in more information about Operation Makesafe should visit westminster.gov.uk/cse  or contact Alex McNab, Westminster City Council, 020 7641 3041.