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Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) In Plainsight – Nightwatch

Interview with Craig: Empowering night time workers to recognise and respond to child sexual exploitation

CSE Nightwatch

This project aims to help people who work at night to:

The night time economy includes taxi drivers, hotel staff, shop owners, security staff etc. Hear from Craig who works with our London team

Craig, what is your background and what compelled you to work on this project?

“I previously worked on the Barnardo’s project ‘The YouTurn’, moving to the Nightwatch team felt like a natural progression. I enjoy getting people engaged with subject matters they may not usually think about. Helping remove the taboo of CSE is a great first step in prevention.”

What does a typical day (if that exists) look like for you?

“This doesn’t really exist…but I can tell you what I did yesterday! I started the day with my colleague Serrina at a local authority building, supporting a group of 14 parents on how to tackle and prevent CSE issues that may affect their children and their children’s friends. Whilst there, we had requests to deliver further sessions for Camden council. After this I made 3 bookings. One for the A&E nurses at St. Georges hospital – we’ll be running a session to help the nurses identify warning signs of CSE. Next up was a Met Police shadowing opportunity. This will entail Serrina and me heading out on a student night in London. We’ll receive a briefing from Ivon Beer Detective Inspector on the Sexual Exploitation team which will be very interesting. I also finalized some upcoming training for Transport for London staff. No two days are the same!”

What has the reception been like from the night time economy?

“When we first begin a session there can be a bit of trepidation, but once people realize what we’re about and fully understand the cause, we get a positive response. At present, 70% have said they would do something differently following the training and interaction. Every presentation we do tends to lead onto another presentation.”

Why was Barnardo’s selected to drive this initiative forward?

“Barnardo’s has historically been at the forefront of CSE related work. We’ve been pioneering in our research and evidence; identifying vulnerabilities, for example, acknowledging males can be affected by sexually exploitation and that those with additional needs are at higher risk of being targeted by perpetrators. We also currently run over 40 CSE related services across the UK; I think this demonstrates our expertise and the trust that people have in us to deliver”

How you can get involved?

This pilot project was fully funded in 2016 for a year by the Department for Education, but the demand and need for this work continues to exist.

In 2018 we received funding for Nightwatch London, a free training and guidance programme for those that work within the Night time economy. Through this cascade model, we train ‘Nightwatch Advocates’ that go on to teach colleagues and those around them to also become part of a Nightwatch community.

By joining together to create a strong Nightwatch community, the staff that sit within these different industries can offer vital protection for children and young people at risk of, or affected by, CSE.

Download our Nightwatch London leaflet for further information

Nightwatch London leaflet

Contact us to find out more and get involved:

Tel: 020 7790 4621


If you have concerns about a young person or situation you have witnessed call 101. If someone is in immediate danger call 999.