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29 September 2010, 10:55
Cambridgeshire's police force is supporting a new website, containing practical information about protecting children from sexual abuse.
The new website, called Parents Protect, aims to raise awareness of of what parents can do to protect children against abuse.
It's as police forces across the country join Cambridgeshire Constabulary in operating the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme.
This scheme allows parents to check if people who have contact with their children are a possible risk to them.
The new internet site, operated by the Stop It Now! charity will run alongside the police scheme.
Resources at the site include descriptions of what sexual abuse is, who abuses children, offending behaviour and signs to look out for in children and adults.
Donald Findlater, Director of Stop it Now! UK and Ireland, said: "While it's important that parents and carers go to the police with concerns, it is vital they have sound information to protect children at all times, when they have a specific concern and when they don't.
There are practical steps adults can take to protect children and this new resource helps them to do that.
Additionally, adults need to know what to look out for in other adults. Sex offenders are mostly not the monsters commonly portrayed in the media. They are people we know, often people we love and care for.
Recognising that someone close to us could pose risk to children is not easy to think about. But if we know what to look out for and where to go for help and advice we are much better placed to protect children from harm."
Detective Inspector Chris Balmer, from Cambridgeshire Police's public protection department, said: "It is great there is now a website that people can use to learn more about this issue.
If you have any concerns at all relating to child protection you should call police on 0345 456 456 4 and ask to speak to an officer.
Alternatively, if someone does not feel comfortable talking directly to police they can contact a charity such as the NSPCC or the Stop It Now! helpline on 0808 1000900."
The new website can be found at www.parentsprotect.co.uk.