Child Sexual Exploitation

What is child sexual abuse through exploitation?

This is a form of  sexual abuse, in which a child/young person is manipulated or forced into taking part in a sexual act. The abuser may physically or verbally threaten or be violent towards them. They will manipulate, groom and try to isolate the child/young person from friends and family. The abuser may control a child/young person through physical or psychological means or through the use of drugs for a sexual purpose. The child/young person may think that their abuser is their friend, or even their boyfriend or girlfriend.

Information Gap - Girls & Gangs 

The Police have noted the emergence of certain gangs in Luton and Bedford consisting of a greater increase in cohorts of males and females. At present there is limited intelligence relating to the structure of these gangs and due to the size of some gang membership’s it is difficult to determine individual roles. However, some Intelligence does suggest that there are cohorts of girls associated to certain Gang’s members and in some cases they are utilised for storing weapons, drugs and cash on behalf of the group. Some females have also been recruited, or used, for access to their bank accounts, in order to safely house or filter criminal proceeds.

Particular attention should also be given to females being recruited due to them being ‘isolated’ and away from family/friends, such as within Alternative Education Providers, University and College. Some females are also recruited through social media therefore, a worthy conversation to have with young females, during any engagement, is to ask what their social media activity looks like.

At present there are several intelligence gaps around the roles of these females and their involvement in criminality and exploitation. It has been noted that some females have been identified as being involved in violent incidents, the storing weapons and in some cases of being ‘ring-leaders’. This is believed to involve them recruiting other, possible younger, females who in turn are then exposed to possible criminal or sexual exploitation.

Please submit a Multi-Agency Information Submission Form if you have any current knowledge or experience of what has been described above or, if immediate, please contact the Police direct on 101. The following guidance document is available to help you complete the Multi-Agency Information Submission Form.

Further Information

Please click here for: Pan Bedfordshire CSE Strategy 2018 to 2020 which explains the approach to helping children and young people at risk.

A Practitoners Guide to tackling CSE has been developed to help partners across Bedfordshire to indentify and respond to concerns of Child Sexual Exploitation and support the children and young people they are working with.

An operating protocol sets out the processes of the countywide Child Sexual Exploitation Group (CSEG). This document details the responsibilities of all parties involved in the CSEG, their accountability and local reporting structures. A risk assessment tool helps to make a risk assessment and helps those working with children and young people who may be at risk to consider the necessary information to assess and take appropriate action. 

If the Multi-Agency Information Submission Form is required please click here: Multi-Agency Information Submission Form. The following guidance is available to help complete the form.

This leaflet provides information on how to identify children at risk. Please also see this useful video regarding identification of vulnerable young people in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation.

A Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit produced by the Home Office along with a 3 Minute Briefing which has also been developed for use by local multi-agency partners.

Further local information and resources are also available on the Bedfordshire Against CSE website.

CBSCB are members of the National Working Group CSE Network and as such CBSCB Business Unit are able to provide an individual login to the restricted members area for staff members who are in relevant roles on request from their agency's member of the CBSCB Strategic Board.

Further guidance and resources are listed below:

CSE Training:

For access to Training courses click here to access the LSCB course catalogue as it is updated daily and can be downloaded as a PDF if needed.  

University of Bedfordshire films and resources on Child Sexual Exploitation

These 12 films are aimed at anyone who wants to access learning from the latest research on child sexual exploitation (CSE), in a short accessible form. Each film is accompanied by a short briefing document that outlines the evidence in more detail, with references and links to the original research, and questions for reflection A broad range of CSE themes are covered. Please click here: University of Bedfordshire films and resources

NHS Choices has provided a short video, click here: Short video by NHS Choices on CSE

Barnados provide advice regarding teenage dating and healthy and safe relationships: Please click here 

Webinars and Briefings:

Please see below webinars which have been produced by the University of Bedfordshire to further support CSE


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