Northamptonshire Police launch new film to raise awareness of child exploitation

  • Help I'm Being Exploited video - produced by Northamptonshire Police

A new short film has been released designed to raise awareness of child exploitation.

Those behind the project hope it will allow people to spot the signs of youngsters being targeted by criminals or coerced into committing crimes or sexual acts

I’m Being Exploited’ was produced by the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP), and produced in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police and partners across the county.

Jenny Coles, Chair of the NSCP said: “Across the UK the issue of Child Exploitation is considered to be a growing child protection concern.

"It is important we highlight this to parents so they can be on the look-out for the signs, some of which are shown in the film.

“Most children are safe and won’t be criminally or sexually exploited but we can not ignore that child exploitation is happening here in Northamptonshire and is increasing."

Spotting the signs of Child Exploitation

What does child exploitation involve?

It can involve bribery, intimidation, violence and/or threats. The child does not need to have met whoever is exploiting them - children can be exploited via the internet or using mobile phones. They can also be targeted on social media platforms and gaming forums.

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How does it start?

People who exploit children use the fact that they have power over children, because of an age difference or some other factor like gender, intelligence, strength, status or wealth. A child may have been exploited even if it looks as if they have been a willing participant.

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Why don't children just report it?

Children don’t always speak up when they are in trouble but there are often some clear signs that could indicate they are being criminally or sexually exploited.

Evidence shows children are more likely to open up to an adult they have an existing and trusting relationship with. This can include parents, grandparents and extended family members, teachers or other school staff, sports or leisure coaches and community leaders.

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How can I help?

Every one of us can potentially make a difference to the safety of a child by knowing the signs to look out for.

Some of the common signs shown in the film include changes in ‘normal’ behaviour, increased messages or calls, and having new belongings or money that can’t be accounted for.

Other signs include:

  • Being away from home more and being in places they wouldn’t usually be

  • Spending time with older people

  • Committing ASB / low level crime

  • Changes in emotional wellbeing

  • Unexplained injuries

  • New and expensive possessions

  • Deterioration in school performance or going missing from school

  • Having more than one phone

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Det Chief Insp Jen Castle said: "Any child can be targeted for exploitation, whoever they are, wherever they live. In towns, villages and on social media.“

A special Child Exploitation Facebook Live Q&A session aimed at parents will be hosted by Northamptonshire Police on Wednesday 20th September 2023 at 7pm.

  • If you think someone you know might be being exploited, there are people you can talk to who can help. Contact Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also contact NSPCC 0808 800 5000

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