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Children and young people may be criminally exploited in multiple ways including child sexual exploitation, trafficking, gang and knife crime and County Lines.
Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity
(a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants,
and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator
The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
County Lines gangs use children and vulnerable people to courier drugs and money. A young person’s involvement in county lines activity often leaves signs. A person might exhibit some of these signs, either as a member or as an associate of a gang dealing drugs. Any sudden changes in a person’s lifestyle should be discussed with them.
Some potential indicators of county lines involvement and exploitation are listed below:
View the WM Police Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) Multi-Agency Information Sharing Video
View the Exploitation Assessment Tool and Pathway Webinar
Guidance for Professionals - Appropriate Language Child Exploitation
Please use this slang dictionary which seeks to support parents, carers and professionals to better understand the language young people may be using and support them to safeguard young people.
Exploitation Posters are available to download. There are two posters one for professionsals and one for community use.
During the day
Monday – Thursday, 8.45am – 5.15pm Friday, 8.45am – 4.45pm
The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Telephone: 0300 555 2866
Emergency Response Team
Telephone: 0300 555 2922 or 0300 555 2836