Organisations across Worcestershire are being offered the chance to take part in an awareness course to help protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm.

Last month West Mercia Police introduced two dedicated Exploitation and Vulnerability trainers who will work with groups to deliver bespoke training sessions.

The sessions will cover a host of areas aimed at raising awareness of the role participants can play in spotting the signs of criminal exploitation.

Sessions also look at the signs someone may be vulnerable to being targeted, such as adverse childhood experiences – sometimes known as ACE’s.

Often part of wider serious and organised crime networks, children, young people and vulnerable adults can be criminally exploited in various ways through modern slavery, child sexual exploitation, county lines or even being forced to commit crimes such as stealing.

As well as learning how to spot the signs, those who take part will also hear how they can raise their concerns and the pathways to use, whether to police or another agency, such as the local authority.

The training is free and open to any organisation, including voluntary organisations and community groups, who feel their staff could benefit.

The initiative forms part of We Don’t Buy Crime and the associated harm connected to acquisitive crime.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding, said: “For the past few years these training sessions have been delivered to organisations across Telford & Wrekin where we received excellent feedback and positive calls that enabled us to safeguard vulnerable people, without this training we would not have been made aware of this. We’re pleased that we’re now able to deliver the training in other areas.

“Our communities play a crucial role in helping us to protect those who are vulnerable to being targeted by criminals looking to exploit them and it is important everyone is aware of the signs and what to look out for. It is also important to know what to do and who to raise concerns with if they do suspect someone is being criminally exploited. It may be they are wrong but we would rather the concerns be raised as if they are right it could help protect that child, young person or vulnerable adult from further harm.

“The awareness sessions are free and I really would encourage any organisations who think they would benefit to get in contact and book a session.”

To request a booking form email wedontbuycrime@westmercia.pnn.police.uk