A SCHEME to tackle grooming at venues including take aways and hotels has led to “increased confidence” among staff in reporting concerns to police.

Tomorrow Bradford Council’s Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee will hear the annual update from the Bradford Children’s Safeguarding Board, including details of what has been done in the past year to deal with child sexual exploitation in the district.

Among the items the board will discuss is the NightWatch initiative, run by children’s charity Barnardo’s.

It was set up to raised awareness of child sexual exploitation by offering advice, guidance, support and training to businesses, services and the general public who work in the “night time economy.”

The board identified take aways, hotels, pool halls and other late night venues as being places where children are at risk of exploitation.

The report says: “The programme has been delivered across Bradford and included those working in fast-food outlets, hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation, accident and emergency services, and security service roles such as door staff. The implementation of Nightwatch, has resulted in increased confidence and awareness amongst night time economy workers around the issue of CSE and how to identify it as well as through examples of children and young people having been safeguarded from exploitation and abuse.”

Councillors will also be told that venues can be shut down if they do not work with the programme.

The report adds: “Through the work undertaken by PC Matt Catlow, proactive operations have been conducted to target premises who have failed to engage with preventative work and have led to them being closed down under Anti-Social Behaviour legislation.

“This approach has been well received by the community and has encouraged other establishments to engage with the police.”

Other projects mentioned in the report include “Mr Shapeshifter” a performance for primary school aged children which aims to make children aware of the dangers and telltale signs of grooming in an age appropriate way.

The report says that over 4,500 Year 6 pupils will be reached by the project over its lifetime.

The meeting will be held in City Hall at 4.30pm.