Child sexual exploitation

We are very committed to improving our responses to child sexual exploitation (CSE). We have a CSE strategy which is attached to this page.

We have gold membership of the National Working Group (NWG). The NWG is a charitable organisation formed as a UK network of over 1000 practitioners working on the issues of CSE and child trafficking within the UK. The network covers voluntary and statutory services and offers support, advice and updates on national developments, whilst influencing the development of national and local policies.

CSE "Operation Liberty" information form

Please use our "Operation Liberty" information form to report any information or intelligence which relates to CSE to Derbyshire Police. We have included some guidance on how to complete and submit the form.

Please note, that this form is not to be used to make a referral. The document is available to download in the related documents section.

Sexual exploitation

Children and young people who are sexually exploited or at risk of sexual exploitation are victims of child sexual abuse, and therefore safeguarding procedures must be implemented and a referral made to social care in order to safeguard them from future harm.

CSE is a serious issue that affects thousands of young people throughout the UK. It can be hard to identify as it is often mistaken for rebellious or challenging behaviour displayed by young people. As a professional working with young people, you could have an important role to play in protecting children from exploitation and helping them to break free from this horrific form of child abuse.

CSE is the abuse of children and young people up to the age of 18, particularly where the young person is being manipulated, coerced or forced into engaging in sexual activity. As a form of manipulation and control, the young person may receive gifts, affection, drugs, alcohol or attention from their abuser. Commonly, the young person may believe they are in a loving, consensual relationship, when in fact they are being exploited.

Children and young people affected by CSE

There are no particular types of young people that can be affected by CSE. Any young person from any background, whether male or female can be at risk. CSE happens in all areas of the country. Some young people may be more vulnerable to exploitation than others, and these include young people that have learning disabilities, those who have experienced the death of someone important in their lives, and those who are experiencing difficulties at home.

It is not a young person's fault if they are sexually exploited. Perpetrators are experienced manipulators and often have real or perceived power over the young person including age, emotional maturity, intellect and physical strength.

CSE can occur through many different mediums and situations. The first step is "grooming" which tends to conjure up the image of an adult hiding behind a computer screen talking to young people online, however this is not the only form of grooming and the process can take place within social circles, and when children are out and about. Grooming is a carefully planned process with the long-term aim of controlling and manipulating a young person to do what the perpetrator wants and to keep the relationship a secret. Grooming can take different approaches along a spectrum ranging from giving gifts to a young person and showering them with affection right through to blackmail, threats of violence and actual violence.

CSE happens in a number of contexts, the common contexts include:

  • Peer on peer.
  • Adult on child.
  • Gang association or membership.
  • Party scene or youth culture.
  • Boyfriend or girlfriend model.
  • Constrained choices model.
  • Trafficking, domestic and international.
  • Internet based CSE − contact and non-contact offences, including sexting.

CSE can occur in cars, hotels, houses, clubs and legitimate business premises, with a young person returning home afterwards.

Signs of CSE

There are a number of signs that could indicate a child or young person is being groomed for sexual exploitation. Please see the CSE risk indicators form within our CSE guidance and toolkit for more information. This is available to download from the related documents section.

CSE guidance and toolkit for professionals in Derbyshire

The purpose of this guidance and toolkit is to enable professionals to assess a child or young person's level of risk of CSE in a quick and consistent manner.

The guidance should help agencies to:

  • Identify and protect those at risk of being sexually exploited at the earliest opportunity.
  • Develop local prevention strategies.
  • Take action to promote the welfare of children and young people who are being or may be sexually exploited.
  • Take action against those intent on abusing and exploiting children and young people in this way.

If you have any questions regarding our guidance and toolkit please contact us.

As a professional, these are things you can do

As a professional working with children and young people, you may have opportunities to identify issues early, so it is important to familiarise yourself with the signs that a young person is being exploited, and to share this information with your colleagues or professionals in other agencies.

For more information and guidance on this, please see the Derby and Derbyshire safeguarding procedures:

You can also refer to our threshold guidance document which is available to download in the related documents section.

Other sources of support, resources and information

There a number of other sources of useful information and support available to help you. These include:

Safe and Sound Derby

Telephone: 01332 362120
Safe and sound group

Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE)

PACE is a national charity working with parents and carers whose children are sexually exploited. They offer advice, support and resources for parents and carers and children and young people:

Telephone: 0113 240 3040
Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation

Parents and carers can follow the simple registration process to access a free elearning course on the PACE website, on CSE aimed at raising awareness, identifying signs and providing advice on what to do if you have concerns.

CEOP's Think U Know

Think U Know is useful for all age groups including parents and carers looking at internet safety and safe surfing.


Barnardos offer advice regarding CSE including a video to help identify the tell-tale signs of abuse and practical steps you can take to protect children.


The NSPCC offer help, support and guidance for parents, carers, professionals and young people.


Kidscape equip young people, parents and professionals with the skills to tackle bullying and safeguarding issues across the UK.


The Internet Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by public interest groups, corporations, and associations representative of the diversity of the Internet community.

UK Safer Internet Centre

Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. We know it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so we hope that this advice for parents and carers about staying safe online. following advice helps.

National Working Group (NWG)

The NWG is a charitable organisation within the UK who disseminates their information down through their services to professionals working on the issue of CSE and child trafficking within the UK. The NWG website offers a variety of resources and also a CSE elearning package aimed at practitioners and other staff who come into contact with children, young people and families.

We have gold membership which enables partner agencies to login to the NWG website and access their resources, for example, Derbyshire schools, social care and residential children's homes. Everyone wishing to access the website will require a username and password. These are unique to each person and not generic for a team or department. If a member of staff therefore would like a username and password, they will need to contact NWG to be given a password. Please mention that you are a partner agency to the Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board who have Gold Membership.

The NWG contact details are:

Tel: 01332 585371

Video resources available

The following videos are YouTube clips aimed at professionals working with young people, in order to help identify and spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.

This video has been put together by Essex Child in Care Council as part of the National CSE Awareness Day.

This video of Shona McGarty from BBC soap Eastenders, explains how to spot the signs of CSE.

The NSPCC produced The story of Jay video to help young people understand'grooming in relationships and how to keep yourself safe. It tells the story of how sometimes relationships aren't what they seem.

This video is a fairy tale with a twist, to raise awareness of children being emotionally and sexually exploited by adults.

This video is to help identify the meaning of grooming.

Barnardo's "Wud U?" App

Wud U is an educational tool for teachers and care professionals who interact with children and young people that might be at risk of sexual exploitation.

The app aims to educate young people about behaviour that could put them at risk of being sexual exploited, through illustrated, interactive stories.

Wud U? will enable you to present sensitive issues to groups of young people. You will be able to discuss the decisions that they would make if they were in the same situation as the characters within the stories. The app also offers advice about their decisions.

Through the Wud U? App you can:

  • Demonstrate how young people can make safe decisions.
  • Provide your group with more information about sexual exploitation, from a trusted source.
  • Help Barnardo's raise awareness of sexual exploitation by sharing the Wud U? app.

Related documents

Our documents are published in either Portable Document Format (PDF) or Microsoft Word format. If you have any problems accessing any of our documents, please contact us.