As a social movement united to bring pride and opportunity to merseyside and keep our people and streets safe, we raise awareness about a number of local campaigns.
'Eyes Open' is one such campaign, championed by Merseyside VRP to ask the people of Merseyside to keep their 'Eyes Open' to the signs of drug gangs grooming our county's kids, and if they see, hear or suspect anything to report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.
The campaign aims to support people too...
Know what to look for
You can spot exploitation in a number of different ways. Sometimes you may just get a feeling that something is not quite right. The following examples might suggest that someone you know is being exploited:
• They go missing from school or home
• They have more than one mobile phone
• They become more secretive, more withdrawn
• They start lying
• Maybe something doesn’t ‘feel right’
• They have new, unexplained gifts
• Calls/messages from new and unknown ‘friends’
• Unexplained amounts of cash
• Driven in cars by unknown people
• They have unexplained bus or train tickets
• Mixing with older men or women
• Coming home late, or not at all
• Carrying/storing a knife, gun or other weapon
• Trying to conceal bruises, marks or injuries
• Self-harm or significant changes in wellbeing.
Know who to help
Criminal gangs look for vulnerable people they can control. They groom young people under the age of 18, teenagers and young children. You might think you, your friend or the young person in your community is in control of their choices. However, if you see any of the signs mentioned on this website, you or they could be in danger.
Know who to call
If you're being pressured to do something you know is harmful. Or if you know someone showing the signs covered on this site.
THERE ARE PEOPLE READY TO LISTEN AND TO HELP.
Resources for teachers
Child criminal exploitation, grooming and 'County Lines’ are difficult subjects to teach. As part of this campaign, we’ve put together a support pack to help explain the signs of exploitation, the different actions and behaviours we might see in the child abusers who are doing the grooming, and of the victims themselves. The more the young people know, the more they can keep themselves, and their friends, safe.