What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

  • Perpetrators can be lone, organised or “punters”
  • Victims often do not see themselves as such – perhaps because they don’t realise they are victims, offenders are considered ‘boyfriends’or ‘girlfriends’
  • Victims will go through different stages: Grooming (presents), affection/relationship, consensual sexual acts, non consensual sexual acts, sexual acts with other/s
  • Truanting from school/regular missing persons
  • Parents may notice children having extra money or new things
  • Parents/School may notice a change in behaviour (secrecy, new friends)
  • Parents may see them with “friends” unknown to them
  • Parents may see an increase in their mobile phone use

Those who carry out sexual exploitation are often well organised and use sophisticated tactics. They are known to target areas where children and young people might gather without much adult supervision, such as shopping centres, cafes, takeaways, pubs, sports centres, cinemas, bus or train stations, local parks, playgrounds and taxi ranks, or sites on the internet used by children and young people. The process of grooming may also be visible in adult venues such as pubs and clubs. In some cases they are known to use younger men, women, boys or girls to build initial relationships and introduce them to others in the network.

Who can I contact?

If you have any concerns that a child or young person may be subject or vulnerable to sexual exploitation, you can contact Thames Valley Police directly on 101, or your local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH):

Buckinghamshire MASH (opens new window)

Oxfordshire MASH (opens new window)

Reading MASH

Milton Keynes MASH (opens new window)