Child exploitation is when an abuser takes advantage of a young person for their own personal gain. This can take many forms, including sexual exploitation or forcing the child to commit crime.
The most common form of criminal exploitation is when a child is forced to sell drugs for an older person. They are often sold a dream of cash, designer goods and a sense of belonging, but the reality is very different. They end up dirty, hungry and risking their life.
Some of this activity takes the form of county lines dealing, which is where people travel from large cities such as London to sell drugs in new areas.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is where a young person is abused by an older person they may initially see as their boyfriend. Perpetrators regularly buy the child gifts and trick them into believing they are in a loving relationship before abusing them.
These types of abuse can happen to any child, at anytime, anywhere and is why tackling it remains a high priority for us. We aim to raise awareness of child exploitation by;
- helping people recognise the signs
- encourage reporting
- provide support to victims.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection command CEOP is a national police prevention organisation. The website provides information regarding online risks and child exploiation. You can report a concern to them and they have a team of police officers and social workers to support.