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What does criminal exploitation mean?

This is when children are used by people, sometimes older or in gangs or groups, for criminal activity such as carrying or selling drugs or weapons, running money, involved in robberies or hiding things.

When children are sent by others to commit crime that is of benefit to the person, gang or group, this is criminal exploitation and trafficking. It is important to know you are not alone. There are many parents and carers in similar situations and there are things you can do:

  • speak to your child and tell them what you are worried about.
  • let them know they are not in trouble and that you are worried.
  • if your child has missed a curfew time and you have exhausted all avenues to locate them, consider reporting them missing to the police.
  • where possible keep a record of any worrying activity as it will help find out what is happening
  • be aware that there may be threats against you or your family that your chid is worried about from those who are exploiting your child - your child may believe they are protecting you

What is criminal exploitation?