Criminal Exploitation

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What is Criminal Exploitation?

Criminal Exploitation is a form of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking where victims are forced to work under highly organised criminals using force, coercion, abuse, deception, or other means of exploitation.

What is Child Criminal Exploitation?

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) is the coercion and control of children and young people to commit crimes, usually for the benefit of abusive adults or peers. A child can be manipulated, intimated, and threatened with violence (including sexual violence). A child under the age of 18 cannot legally give consent to their exploitation even if the activity appears to them and others as consensual. The exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology.

What is County Lines?

County Lines is used to describe gangs and organised criminals who network to export illegal drugs within the UK using dedicated mobile phones. Criminally exploited victims are forced by criminal gangs to run drugs from urban to rural locations across the UK.

Signs of Criminal Exploitation

Below are some examples of signs however it is important to remember that warning signs will be presented differently for each child or young person being exploited

  • Frequently going missing from home or school or being found out of area
  • Unexplained acquisition of money, clothes, jewellery, or mobile phones
  • In a relationship or hanging out with someone older than them
  • Being angry, aggressive or violent
  • Being isolated or withdrawn
  • Using new slang words
  • Spending more time on social media and being secretive about time online
  • Making more calls or sending more texts
  • Self-harming and feeling emotionally unwell
  • Taking drugs and abusing alcohol
  • Committing petty crimes like shop lifting or vandalism
  • Unexplained injuries and refusing to seek medical help
  • Carrying weapons or having a dangerous breed of dog

How do I report Criminal Exploitation?

Call the Police on 999 if in immediate danger or call 101 for non-emergencies

Modern Slavery Helpline – 08000 121 700.

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Safeguarding Referral

If you are concerned about a child or adult, you can call Customer First on freephone 0808 800 4005.

To make a referral online, use the relevant Suffolk County Council Portal below:

If you are a member of the public and you would like to raise your concern anonymously, you can do so by clicking on the links below:

Find out more

Information from the NSPCC.

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council
Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000