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East Bergholt High School

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Child Exploitation

Child Criminal Exploitation, Child Sexual Exploitation.

Child Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation is where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child into any criminal or sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual.

CCE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

Some of the following can be indicators of CCE:

  • children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
  • children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
  • children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
  • children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
  • children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and 
  • children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education. 


Child Sexual Exploitation can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex. It can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and non-contact sexual activity and may occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (e.g. through others copying videos or images they have created and posted on social media).

The above CCE indicators can also be indicators of CSE, as can:

  • children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends; and
  • children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant.

County Lines

County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs (primarily crack cocaine and heroin) into one or more importing areas [within the UK], using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”.  Exploitation is an integral part of the county lines offending model with children and vulnerable adults exploited to move [and store] drugs and money.  Offenders will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons to ensure compliance of victims.

Children can be targeted and recruited into county lines in a number of locations including schools, further and higher educational institutions, pupil referral units, special educational needs schools, children’s homes and care homes.  Children are often recruited to move drugs and money between locations and are known to be exposed to techniques such as ‘plugging’, where drugs are concealed internally to avoid detection.  Children can easily become trapped by this type of exploitation as county lines gangs create drug debts and can threaten serious violence and kidnap towards victims (and their families) if they attempt to leave the county lines network.

This type of practice is happening in Suffolk and we work on the principles that assume it could happen at East Bergholt High School.  Our staff, particularly in the role of Form Tutor, are aware of the indicators of Child Criminal and Sexual Exploitation and will report concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead when necessary.

Useful Links

Think U Know







The latest version of  Keeping Children Safe in Education can be found on the Department for Education website here.


The Prevent Strategy

The PREVENT duty

As of July 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (HMG, 2015) placed a new duty on schools and other education providers.  Under section 26 of the Act, schools are required, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.

The purpose of the PREVENT Strategy is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism in all its forms. The strategy has three objectives, one of which is to prevent people from being drawn into extremism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support. At East Bergholt High School we shall follow the procedures as set out in the document, ‘The Prevent duty’ (DfE June 2015).

Please click on this link to see the Prevent Strategy document from Central Government.


The following websites are there to help support Parents/Carers and Young people

Suffolk Young Carers

Essex Young Carers -  please use the Young People tab for information about Young Carers





Wellbeing Hub

Colchester & Tendring YES

Outreach Youth

Our Place Online Parenting Guide