Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse, when a child is made or tricked into doing something sexual sometimes receiving something in return like love, affection, money, drugs or alcohol.
Criminal Exploitation includes gang crime and county lines. A gang may claim control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent behaviour or other types of criminal activity.
County lines is when gangs and organised crime networks groom and exploit children to sell drugs. They may make them travel across counties, and they use dedicated mobile phone ‘lines’ to supply drugs.
Trafficking is where children and young people are tricked, forced or persuaded to leave their homes and are moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold.
It can happen to anyone – not just foreign children as is often thought. A child could only be taken next door or down the road – it’s still classed as trafficking.
How can I support my child?
You can discuss the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships with your children, this is really important in helping highlight potential risks to them.
There are also practical steps you can take, such as:
This parent leaflet is a useful guide to help you talk to your child about CSE.
What to do if your child goes missing
If your child does not return home when you expect them to and you are worried, in the first instance you should try and find out where they are. Contact relatives or friends to see if they have seen them or know where they are. You should also search your property and local area to see if you can locate them. You should also:
However, if your child is missing or has run away from home, you must contact the police. Dial 999 in an emergency situation or call your local police force immediately on 101.
If you cannot locate your child following a telephone and physical search then you should report them missing to the police by dialling 101. You do not have to wait 24 hours before reporting them missing.