Child criminal exploitation is increasingly used to describe this type of exploitation where children are involved.
Child Criminal Exploitation is common in county lines and occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
‘County Lines’ is a term applied to a national issue involving the use of mobile phone ‘lines’ by groups to extend their drug dealing business into new locations outside of their home areas. Criminal exploitation of children is broader than just county lines, and includes for instance children forced to work on cannabis farms or to commit theft. This film provides more information about County Lines.
The Home Office has published Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance The National Crime Agency provide an annual intelligence assessment
The Government have published a Serious and Organised Crime Strategy
Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMI Probation) carry out joint targeted area inspections with a specific focus, this report focuses on their findings for criminal exploitation thematic inspections.
West Midlands Police have also published information about County Lines on its website, and the Home Office have published a disruption Tool Kit
The Children’s Commissioner has published Keeping kids safe – improving safeguarding responses to gang violence and criminal exploitation Feb 2019
Missing People has published a report exploring the experiences of family members whose children have been victims of child criminal exploitation
The Children’s Society have designed a criminal exploitation tool kit