Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Watch Association

Child Criminal Exploitation

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Child Criminal Exploitation

Child criminal exploitation is when someone uses a child (under 18 years old) to commit crimes for them.

It includes things like forcing a child to work on a cannabis farm, or grooming a child to sell drugs in county lines operations.

Child criminal exploitation can involve bribery, violence or threats. The child does not need to have met whoever is exploiting them – children can be exploited via the internet or using mobile phones.

A child may have been exploited even if it looks as if they have willingly committed the crime.

Signs to look out for include: 

·  often going missing from home or school and being found away from their normal area

·  unexplained money, clothes or mobile phones

·  having multiple mobile phones

·  getting lots of phone calls or texts

·  relationships with older people

·  unexplained injuries 

·  carrying weapons 

·  abandoning friends and their social circle

·  school performance getting worse

·  self-harm

·  significant emotional changes (like becoming more angry or sad)

Any sudden change in a young person’s lifestyle could be because of criminal exploitation and you should talk to them about it.

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