01 September 2020

Child Criminal Exploitation Report


Exploring the characteristic profile of those vulnerable to criminal exploitation (CCE) within Shropshire.

This study found that whilst some aspects of the characteristic profile were consistent with previous studies, some inconsistencies were identified. This included the dominant role of cannabis use, as both a risk factor and a coping mechanism for exploited individuals. The increasing prevalence of suicidality and self harm was also identified as a risk factor. Grooming played a significant role, with perpetrators isolating children from their parents. Parents often lacked legal understanding and faced stigma from services, hindering their engagement. 

The study highlighted the need for better training for law enforcement and social services around societal narratives of crime victims and crime perpetrators. There is also a need for specialist services whereby a parent centred approach is employed, focusing on parental trauma and coping. Transition workers and “bridging the gap” schemes could also prevent those at the pivotal exploitation age of 18 being criminalised.