The partnership between Waltham Forest council and the Metropolitan Police aims to educate residents and local businesses about reporting the “under-reported” crime.
Last month, borough commander Chief Superintendent Mark Collins told the Guardian how Waltham Forest had the most referrals in the capital for CSE, up until March this year.
Waltham Forest is the first London borough to launch such a scheme, which takes a localised approach to the national campaign, ‘Say Something if you See Something’.
In the coming weeks, they will work collectively to provide education and training to taxi firms, hotel staff, pubs and cafes and pharmacies – businesses highlighted as coming into contact with potential victims of CSE.
Speaking at the launch at Leyton Orients Olympic suite in Oliver Road, Chief Supt Collins said: “Within Waltham Forest over the last 16 months, we’ve identified 140 children who are at risk, or have already been exploited.
“Now that number sounds really high but I welcome that number as it shows we have the infrastructure in place to identify the most vulnerable people.
“Today is focused on increasing awareness across communities but especially the business community so we encourage more people to come forward and report their concerns.”
Of that figure, 62 per cent had been reported as missing from home or in care, and 66 per cent were aged 14 or 15 years old.