All agencies across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are fully committed to safeguarding children and young people from being exploited, both criminally and sexually, whilst disrupting and prosecuting individuals who have exploited them.
What is Child Exploitation?
Child Exploitation, or CE is a term which encompasses all the ways by which children and young people can be exploited. It includes Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and also criminal exploitation. The criminal exploitation of children is an issue which is gaining more of a national focus and is closely related to County Lines, and other ways children and young people are drawn into drugs related criminal activity.
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.
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE). While there is still no legal definition of ‘Child Criminal Exploitation’ it is increasingly being recognised as a major factor behind crime in communities across the UK, while also simultaneously victimising vulnerable young people and leaving them at risk of harm.
A simple definition of CCE is:
CCE often occurs without the victim being aware that they are being exploited and involves young people being encouraged, cajoled or threatened to carry out crime for the benefit of others. In return they are offered friendship or peer acceptance, but also cigarettes , drugs (especially cannabis), alcohol or even food and accommodation.