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Child Sexual Exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation is a crime that can affect any child, anywhere, anytime regardless of their social or ethnic background. It is a horrible crime that destroys young people's lives. Staffordshire police works closely with our partners to prevent CSE, protect those at risk, prepare our partners and communities and pursue those involved.

Child Sexual Exploitation involves offenders grooming young people and using their power to sexually abuse them. It can occur through a seemingly consensual relationship with an older partner or as a young person being abused in return for attention, gifts, alcohol and cigarettes.

In many cases the child may not even realise they are being abused and will not call for help. We urge everyone to help us to identify those involved in facilitating this horrific crime so we can stop this from happening and protect children and young people. It is everyone's responsibility to keep children safe by reporting any concerns they may have.

More than 1,000 officers and police staff in Staffordshire have now been trained to spot the warning signs of child sexual exploitation, and the force has taken on an expert to lead the fight.

Police and our partners can't rely on victims to come forward and report abuse. We need everyone to take responsibility to do all they can to protect children.

We will act on concerns, we listen and believe victims and provide them with support. Where there is evidence of criminal actions we will bring offenders to justice. Where there are concerns, we will work with our partners to protect those at risk.

Definition of child sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive 'something' (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.

Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.

Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person's limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.