Child Sexual Exploitation

Date published: 29 March 2022 15:25

What is Child Sexual Exploitation? (CSE)

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.

They may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online.

Online exploitation

Online grooming can take place in chat rooms, through instant messaging, social networking sites or by email.

Offenders contact many young people who are persuaded or forced into engaging in sexual conversations, sending indecent images or videos on a mobile phone.

We have put together a short video, called Emily's look back video to highlight these issues. Please watch the video and share with any young people you know.

Emily's look back story

Here's Emily's 'look back' video which carries an important message. Please note this video is based on real events but the character used is fictional. 

Spot the signs

CSE can affect any child, anytime, anywhere, However, some children are more at risk then others; it is the responsibility of everyone to spot the signs that a child may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

  • going missing from home or care
  • physical injuries
  • misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • withdrawn from family and friends
  • repeated sexually transmitted infections or pregnancies
  • absent from school
  • involved in offending
  • received gifts from unknown sources
  • self-harming
  • evidence of sexual bullying
  • experiencing mental health problems
  • attempted suicide
  • evidence of online abuse through the internet and social networking sites
  • recruiting friends into exploitative situations

What are we doing about CSE

Exploitation of children, in all of its forms, is absolutely abhorrent and tackling it continues to be a high priority for South Yorkshire Police.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) remains an issue in South Yorkshire and across the country. Our understanding of this type of offending has developed considerably since the time of the Jay Report in 2014 and the way we deal with it has improved greatly.
We now have dedicated CSE teams which work closely with partner agencies to proactively investigate this type of crime. The development of our response has been shaped by listening to the experience of survivors of CSE and our most recent inspection by HMICFRS found South Yorkshire Police to be ‘good’ at protecting vulnerable people.

Operation Stovewood, the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) independent investigation into child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) in Rotherham, which was requested by South Yorkshire Police, continues to make good progress.

Child exploitation in South Yorkshire

Our 2019 Child Exploitation profile can be read here

Our 2020 Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) profile can be read here

Reporting CSE

Anyone with concerns about child sexual exploitation should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or call police on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Say Something
National helpline run by the National Working Group Network through the charity Missing People call or text: 116 000

If you think you may be a victim and need help in Barnsley please call: 01226 438831

If you think you may be a victim and need help in Doncaster call: 01302 737200

If you think you may be a victim and need help in Rotherham call: 01709 823987

If you think you may be a victim and need help in Sheffield call: 0114 2758411

Support for boys and young men: click here

You can also report online through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, click here