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Exploitation is defined by the Home Office as occurring “when an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive [a child]. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Criminal exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also be through the use of technology”.

There are several types of exploitation, including:

  • Sexual: victims can be forced, or appear willing, to work in the sex industry in a variety of locations. Often involves the use of the internet and can involve children;
  • Labour: victims work for offenders directly or for others and have their wages ‘taxed’ for living expenses by an offender;
  • Criminal: victims are forced or coerced into criminal activities;
  • Domestic servitude: a domestic helper or worker who performs a variety of tasks within their employer’s home, but there are restrictions on the worker’s movements, and they are forced to work long hours for little pay. They may also suffer physical and sexual abuse;
  • Forced marriage: when a person is put under pressure to marry someone, and can be threatened with physical or sexual violence or are placed under emotional or psychological distress in order to achieve these aims; and
  • Organ harvesting: victim’s organs, blood or eggs may be taken to be sold.



The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership has a thematic subgroup for Child Exploitation which covers Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE), Children Exploiting Children, Missing Children, Cuckooing and Modern Slavery. The purpose of the group is to achieve step changes in performance in dealing with child exploitation within Telford and Wrekin through improvements in identification, investigation, prosecution, prevention and support.

What is the definition of CSE?

"Child Sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child Sexual Exploitation does not always involve physical contact: it can also occur through the use of technology."

Source: HM Government Child Sexual Exploitation (February 2017)  

For further information on CSE please refer to the National Working Group website:

Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board & Safer Telford & Wrekin Partnership Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy 2017 to 2020
Local Review on CSE In May 2016 the Telford & Wrekin Council Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee published its report into the multi-agency response to CSE in Telford and Wrekin.  Following which a multi-agency response was submitted. 

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership will be publishing an updated Child Exploitation Strategy for 2020-2023 in due course. 


The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership has a thematic subgroup for Adult Criminal Exploitation dedicated to developing and delivering an action plan to address safeguarding challenges as defined by the Safeguarding Partnership Executive.

The group will concentrate on:

  • Criminal Exploitation (including but not limited to Sexual Exploitation, Modern Slavery, Cuckooing, County Lines, Human Tracking and Financial Exploitation) along with developing the transitional arrangements for people who were or currently are being exploited and will be Adult Survivor; 
  • An evidence-based approach to identifying key areas for improvement, which will be contained within the action plan; 
  • Raising awareness of the exploitation in the community and identifying training which is required for professionals working with adults and families; and
  • A multi-agency approach and receive input from the Serious Violence Reduction Board, ensuring the appropriate information is shared with the different partnership sub-groups.  

If you or someone you know is at risk or is being exploited, there are a number of agencies you can contact for advice and support. Please tell someone.

  • Family Connect have a range of information on their website including signposting and resources, for children and young people who have been affected by exploitation
  • Telford & Wrekin Council have a dedicated Children Abused Through Exploitation (CATE) team, who work with those affected by exploitation. For referral to this service, please contact Family Connect on 01952 385285
  • Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is a law enforcement agency, and can be used to report a concern about CSE via their website
  • West Mercia Police can be contacted if you want to report an incident or any suspicions you may have, and this can be done by either ringing 101 which is the non-emergency number, or by going to your local police station to speak to someone in person

If it is an emergency or there is an immediate danger, always ring 999.