NSCB Schools e-Bulletin: Summer Holiday Safety Message

20th July 2015

Children and young people are often more vulnerable and more likely to experience risky situations during the long summer holiday from school. 

With the summer holidays fast approaching, the NSCB suggests you share some guidance with school children about keeping safe during the summer holidays. We have 5 key themes:

1. Child Sexual Exploitation

Children may find themselves more vulnerable during the summer holidays and some may be at risk of sexual exploitation.

Who could a child or young person tell if they were worried?
Services in Northamptonshire are ready to help – the options are:

  • Tell a friend who you know will tell another useful adult
  • Tell an adult that can be trusted and is not involved with the exploitative situation
  • Text or ring 116 000 – it’s free, anonymous and open 24/7 – you can get advice or help for you or someone you know
  • Ring 101 and report it to the police
  • Ring the RISE team on 01604 888345 or email them rise@northants.pnn.police.uk


2. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the ‘cutting season’

Sadly, the school summer holidays is known as the ‘cutting season’. This horrific name marks a time of year when many young girls are taken abroad to have FGM performed, in order that they can ‘heal’ over the long summer holiday period – mainly to avoid detection when they return to school.

Who could a girl tell if she was worried?
The options are:

  • Tell someone who can be trusted like a teacher, social worker, doctor  or other professional
  • Ring the NSPCC FGM help line on 0800 028 3550 or e-mail them on fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk
  • Contact the local organisation Northamptonshire Flower who can also help –  visit their website for more details: www.northamptonshireflower.org
  • Girls can now be protected using a FGM Protection Order – this gives a girl legal protection that can stop her being taken abroad against her will for FGM for example. Anyone can apply for a FGM protection order – the girl herself, or a professional or other person on her behalf. Find out more about FGM Protection Orders on the NSCB website.

3. Forced marriage

As with FGM, the school summer holidays provides cover for some families to take children abroad where they are forced into marriage.

Anyone worried about being forced into marriage can use the following resources to get help:
Download the Freedom smartphone app
The Metropolitan Police and the Freedom Charity have created this new, free smartphone app to help young people at risk of forced marriage. It includes a check list of signs of forced marriage and links young people at risk to organisations that can help them, including ChildLine.

Get help from the Forced Marriage Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Anyone worried that they or someone they know might be forced into marriage overseas, or who’s already been forced to marry, can get help from the Forced Marriage Unit. You can talk to a trained professional who can help you work out a plan of action. Call the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151(or if you’re overseas, phone 0044 20 7008 0151.) You can also email the Forced Marriage Unit onfmu@fco.gov.uk| or get information on their website in English, Arabic or Urdu.

Get help from the organisation Karma Nirvana
This organisation offers support, information and help with re-housing to victims of forced marriages, domestic violence and honour based crimes. It also offers a bi-lingual service. Phone their confidential helpline on 01332 604098.

4. Gangs

A gang can be a group of friends who live in the same area, or go to the same school and who hang out together. Some gangs may try to persuade or force children and young people to get involved with risky, dangerous and criminal behaviour. Some gang members may use knives or other weapons to show off and impress others. This can be very scary for other people, especially if they think the gang will use them.

Who could a child or young person tell if they were worried?

  • Northants Police have Officers that can help – call them on 101
  • The MASH team at Northants County Council can help with this problem – call them on 0300 126 1000 
  • Call Child-Line – you can call free and speak to a counsellor straight away on 0800 1111 or get help from a counsellor through 1-2-1 online chat on the website: www.childline.org.uk


5. Radicalisation and Extremism

Radicalisation happens when a person’s thinking and behaviour become significantly different from how most of the members of their society and community view social issues and participate politically. Only small numbers of people radicalise and they can be from a diverse range of ethnic, national, political and religious groups.

Who could a child or young person tell if they were worried?

  • If you suspect a friend may be at risk of being radicalised you should first speak to a teacher, a relative, friend or social worker, as the local police will be able to support them through the PREVENT programme.
  • If you think a friend may be in immediate danger you should always contact the Police on 999.