A FAST food giant's staff are to be given expert training to help spot criminal activity and exploitation in Colchester.

About 100 members of McDonald’s staff will be undertaking training over the coming months on how to spot the signs of criminal and sexual exploitation, gangs, county lines, modern slavery and missing children.

The restaurant announced it is collaborating with the One Colchester partnership’s new Every Contact Counts initiative to increase awareness of the issues.

Aimed at protecting young people, Every Contact Counts was launched to help make communities more vigilant to the signs of child exploitation and provide greater protection to young people.

It is hoped the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who pass through McDonald’s franchises across Colchester will be kept a caring eye on by staff.

Gazette: Initiative - Matt Ladkin, Craig Rippingdale and Caitlyn Grant, of McDonald's Initiative - Matt Ladkin, Craig Rippingdale and Caitlyn Grant, of McDonald's

Pam Donnelly, chair of One Colchester, said: “The Every Contact Counts initiative can make a real difference to the people of Colchester and help keep some of our most vulnerable residents safe.

“We all have a responsibility to be vigilant and share concerns in a safe and appropriate way.

“Every Contact Counts is working with key individuals and organisations who are best placed to be able to do that.”

The campaign offers free training from safeguarding experts, with a particular focus on taxi operators, food establishments, door security staff and delivery drivers who can also help.

It will consist of a free two hour session and explains how and where to report concerns, as well as understanding how to respond safely to any worries.

McDonald’s will also be promoting the #SeeYouSafer campaign across its outlets in and around Colchester which helps those enjoying a night out in Colchester remain safe.

Matt Ladkin, of McDonald’s, added: “This is a fantastic campaign for the whole of Colchester and McDonald’s is delighted to support it.

“It’s crucial to us that all our staff get the best standards of training, and working being part of the See You Safer campaign helps us to make a real difference to the community in Colchester.”

For more information about the #SeeYourSafer campaign, visit www.seeyousafer.co.uk.