New Guidance to Support Victims of Criminal Exploitation

The Children’s Society has published a toolkit for people working with children and young people trafficked for the purpose of criminal exploitation in relation to ‘County Lines’.

The following is taken from the toolkit introduction:

The term ‘county lines’ is becoming more widely recognised and used to describe situations where young people may be internally trafficked for the purpose of criminal exploitation. What is often less understood is the experiences a young person faces and the potential for them to be harmed through various forms of abuse and exploitation as a result. This toolkit hopes to address some gaps in knowledge and offer suggestions for supporting young people who are at risk of, or being trafficked for the purpose of criminal exploitation.

There is currently no legal definition of county lines or criminal exploitation and also very little guidance. Currently, the criminal exploitation of children and young people is often not fully understood by services working with young people which can impact on the response that a young person receives. Trafficking and criminal exploitation are forms of abuse and therefore should be afforded a safeguarding response. Often the visible symptoms of this abuse are responded to, meaning that many young people receive a criminal justice response and their safeguarding needs can be overlooked as a result.

This guidance has been produced by The Children’s Society as part of the National CSE/A Prevention Programme for England and Wales, in partnership with Victim Support. Please click here to view the document in PDF format.

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