A NEW 12-month campaign has been launched to help tackle child exploitation in Cumbria.

Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) is behind the campaign, launched today, in partnership with the NSPCC.

The CSCP, made up of representatives from Cumbria Constabulary, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria's police and crime commissioner, Morecambe Bay CCG, North Cumbria CCG and other agencies working with children and families, together with the NSPCC, will be launching the ‘It’s not OK’ campaign this month.

It's initial focus will be on child criminal exploitation, before moving on to topics including healthy relationships and online safety. Children as young as ten in Cumbria are being put in danger by criminals who take advantage of how vulnerable these young people are.

Gill Rigg, independent chair of CSCP, said: “We want to get the message out there that any child, in any community, is vulnerable to exploitation. This campaign aims to raise awareness of this often hidden crime.

“Together with our partners we are committed to protecting children from harm, and we are working to inform, educate and prevent child exploitation.”

Carla Malseed, local campaigns manager for the NSPCC, said: “Child exploitation, in all its forms, is an abhorrent form of grooming and, is why working with partners on this campaign to help protect our children from abuse is so positive.

"Like all forms of abuse, we must be clear this is never the child’s fault.”