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If you suspect a child is at risk of harm, please call The Contact Centre on 01744676767


Children at Risk of Exploitation

Pan Mersey Child Exploitation Protocol - 2020

Child Exploitation comes in many forms: Child Sexual Exploitation, Criminal Exploitation, Radicalisation and Child Trafficking.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

CSE is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18, into sexual activity

(a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or
(b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.

The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual.

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


Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Criminal exploitation involves taking advantage of children and young people and forcing them to engage in various forms of criminal activity such as begging, pick-pocketing, credit card, benefit fraud and, the cultivation of cannabis for drug dealers.

word doc Use of Appropriate Language for Professionals - CE/CCE

Child Trafficking (MSHT)teenage girl looking down

Modern Slavery and Child Trafficking are forms of child abuse. Children are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold.

County Lines - The UK Government defines county lines as:

County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of "deal line". They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.

For more information on what to do if you suspect a child is being trafficked or used within modern slavery please see the Child Trafficking 7 minute briefing that have clear pathways of information and support

word doc NWG Disruption Toolkit

Radicalisation (PREVENT)

The Government's PREVENT Strategy aims to stop people supporting or being drawn into terrorism. It is about ensuring that vulnerable children and adults receive the support they need before vulnerabilities are exploited by those that would want them to embrace terrorism and before they become involved in terrorist related activity

In October the St Helens PREVENT Operational Guidance and Action Plan were approved by the Council's Cabinet. The PREVENT Action Plan identifies training as a priority for the Council and the wider partnership who will provide our local multi-agency response to identified concerns. Training briefings are currently being planned for the Authority and dates will be confirmed in due course.

CHANNEL panels take place on a monthly basis for St Helens wherein vulnerable children and adult referrals can be discussed and appropriate intervention put in place to support them from being drawn into terrorist activity. Attached on the side of this page is the confirmed PREVENT referral pathway for the LA and referral form for use by any professional who wishes to refer in.


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To make a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) please use the referral form in the first instance.    

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NB: New changes to the LADO criteria are now in effect